On April 6, 2018, Minister Michael John Ford preached about holding onto the heart of trust in God, even when times aren’t good.
“After many pieces of good news lately, the theme of suffering came back to me. We went through the time of lent, meditated on the Lord’s cross, and now as he has resurrected, we march on to Pentecost. But I feel there is a high chance of us forgetting the Lord within the excitement of good times. And then when hard times come, it’s hard to just jump back into fellowship with him.
There will be hardships, and challenges, and times where we don’t really see the Lord. And of course, we still have a mission to fulfill.”
Exhorting members to walk diligently toward Pentecost, being filled with the spirit of God that leads believers closer to Christ, closer to God, Michael spoke of the humility one has with the spirit helping them know the God who they pray to when times are tough. Losing focus on God leaves us puffed up with pride like a helium balloon that typically flies away(arrogance), whereas we want to be like a balloon blown into (breathed on by the Lord). Great joy comes to the one like this, but we also come back down to earth, humbled, and in those times, we can cry out to God and come closer to him.
In the end, we want to have this true worship that cries out for help at all times, but also is content to worship no matter, like Habakkuk in chapter 3:17-19
The members shared their topics and united in sincere prayer. One topic came from Vanessa who was seeking peace during some recent issues in her personal life. At the beginning of the year, her verse of the year was Romans 8:28. The sister shared. “Romans 8:28 is my verse of the year and it’s been coming up repeatedly everywhere. I never heard it before this year, but as I listen to praise and worship, the singers have been spontaneously breaking out of the song to quote it. The mayor even spoke at our school and testified her past and brought it up. It amazes me that God has been using them to remind me.
Minister Michael even shared grace of his first time going to Elim Kirkwood for training and how it was an emotional, and spiritual challenge to close out his chapter in NYC and go to this faraway place without any sort of plan for the future, but he remembered Jesus carrying the cross and Simon the Cyrene helping him, and this gave him peace and strength.
“My luggage was tearing, my body was weak (from putting things away in storage) but remember that the cross from the old Bronx church was in my bag brought me to see I was carrying the cross, and Jesus did this for me. And when I couldn’t make it up the train station steps, someone helped me out. I was greatly strengthened and peaceful from that moment.