College and Singles Weekly Update – April 28- May 5th

Recognizing our graduates:

 

Ben McMillan

Graduating from: The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Degree: Masters of Divinity

Future plans: Ben is staying in Louisville and pursuing Chaplaincy in Military.  Ben helps Pastor Philip with the security team and coordinates Sunday services at a local nursing home.

 

 

 

Sarah Stender

Graduating from: Boyce College

Degree: BS in Youth & Family Ministry

 Future plans: Sarah will be working in Alaska for the summer at Kennicott Glacier Lodge. In the fall she will return home to Tennessee to work on getting her TEFL certificate.

 

 

Savannah Kawa

Graduating from: Boyce College

Degree: BS in Elementary Education

Future plans: Savannah will pursue a career in elementary education within her hometown community and serve her family by working at their business.

 

 

Jerm Shang

Graduating from: University of the Cumberlands

Degree: BS in Psychology

Future plans: Jerm  currently has two part-time jobs, uncertain of where the Lord will take him from here. Staying in Louisville for now.

 

 

Alexa Knight

Graduating from: Boyce College

Degree: BS in Humanities with a minor in biblical counseling

Future plans: Staying in Louisville, at least until next May!

 

 

 

Bobby Marcum

Graduating from: Boyce College

Degree: BS in Biblical Studies with a Worship Pastoral emphasis

Future plans: plans to get married to Macy Kile on June 5th, then begin studies in worship at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

 

 

 

We are very proud of all our graduates!! Be sure to congratulate them when you see them next or with a note, email, text, or social media.

 

Weekly Word on Suffering:

Brought to us by Graham Faulkner who teaches in our singles ministry!

If I asked you to define the word “suffering”, how would you? You might start by looking it up in the dictionary, but unfortunately, you would not find much help. Webster’s dictionary defines suffering as “the state or experience of one who suffers.” While unclear, this definition gets at what comes to mind when we think about “suffering”: it’s hard to define, but we know it when we see it or feel it.

 

Suffering is not foreign to the Bible. It enters in Genesis 3 and does not drop from the pages of Scripture until the very end when Jesus returns and rids creation of all tears, death, mourning, crying, and pain (Rev. 21:4). The worst suffering imaginable is recorded in the Bible: the unmitigated wrath of God endured by Jesus on the cross. Suffering results from sin and will one day be removed by Jesus. In light of this, we might propose a better definition of suffering: suffering is the pain experienced as a result of the Fall.

 

In Romans 5:1-11, Paul writes that one of the benefits of being made right with God is joy in our suffering (5:3). This seems counterintuitive. If we have been made right with God, why do we suffer? Paul does not answer this how we want him to. He does not tease out the nuances of why pain exists in our lives, especially as the people of God. Instead, he makes a bolder claim: we should rejoice in our suffering because it brings us hope (5:4). Not only does Paul leave our most pressing question unanswered, but he instructs us to rejoice in the pain that we experience because it points us to a hope that does not put us to shame (5:5). How can this be?

 

In Romans, Paul connects hope with the joy-filled assurance that God will bring His promises to pass (cf., 4:18-19; 5:2; 12:2). Paul writes that suffering leads to hope, “because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (5:5). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God pouring out his love into our hearts and lives, something he promised for his new covenant people in the Old Testament (cf., Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:27). His presence with us means that our suffering is never wasted. He uses suffering to produce endurance and tested character in us (5:3-4). In other words, God uses suffering to mold us into the people He desires us to be. When we face suffering, the Lord reminds us that he is preparing us for something greater. Suffering is nothing less than preparation for glory (cf., 2 Cor. 4:17).

Therefore, suffering builds up our hope as it reminds us that God is using the pain of the Fall on earth to prepare us for eternity with Him in heaven.

Ultimately, then, we rejoice in suffering because of Jesus. The ground for our hope in suffering is “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8). Our hope does not put us to shame because Jesus has justified us by his blood, reconciled us to God through his death, and saved us by his resurrection from the dead (5:9-10). Therefore, “we rejoice in God” (5:11). In Christ, our suffering is not a picture of something worse that is to come. Rather, it points us to the day when God in Christ will make all things new (Rev. 21:5).

 

 

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