Whenever I am frustrated by church work, I always remember what one of my New Testament professors told my class in a throw-away line he tossed out as class was ending one day. He said, “Whenever the Church ticks me off, I always remember Romans 15:28 and get some peace.”
It was good to hear his confession. All the class knew that he was an active member of a local church and most of us had heard the rumors about their former pastor who had argued with the church (we suspected that professor’s family) a great deal and how hard and worried our professor was by some folks in his Sunday School class, etc. You get the picture.
But he also challenged me. Maybe the rest of the class did, but I didn’t have a clue as to what Romans 15:28 has to say. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one because in just a moment a bunch of us had raised our hands and asked for an explanation.
Our teacher laughed and just said we should look it up later but that when we read it we should remember that the Apostle Paul’s own plans for his ministry had plainly been frustrated: but – and here he paused for effect – who cared today because God had worked through Paul to grow the Kingdom. And then he said, let your worries go.
His point was obvious: we may be frustrated but God works through us, both our plans brought to fruition and plans that seem brought to naught. So, when frustrated by the Church, let it go and trust God to grow the Kingdom through us.
For the Kingdom’s sake,
BTW: Romans 15:28 reads So then, after I have finished this job and have safely delivered the final amount of the Gentiles’ offering to them; I will leave for Spain, visiting you on the way. Paul, having left the offering for Jerusalem in that city, plainly intended to make Rome a lay-over stop on his way to Spain. As far as we know he never got to Spain. His plan was frustrated; I can only imagine how such a fiery character as the Apostle must have reacted to that. But God brought the Kingdom through him. Let it go and trust God to grow the Kingdom through us.
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Hello from Harvey – NEXT TIME YOU ARE FRUSTRATED BY THE CHURCH
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