Rev. J. Loren Russell, B.A., MDiv.
Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”
September 1, 2016 was the 39th anniversary of my father’s transition from life to eternity. I told the story and posted on my Facebook page how his departure challenged my life, taking me on a journey that would help me have an intimate relationship with the Father of all fathers. It was a story about God’s commitment to those who belong to Him, but it was also a tribute to my earthly father. For, without him, I would have no relationship with the Lord. My Dad was a man who was the rock of our family, the epitome of fatherhood; a man who loved his family; a man who stayed with and raised his family after the death of his beloved wife, a great provider, and a man who meant more to me than anyone else in the world. By all accounts, he was an extraordinary man.
What I was able to learn from his life and his death is that no matter how complicated, how challenging, how painful or how hopeless things seem, the Lord always provides a way out. In spite of being scared, anxious, confused, or fearful, without a clear plan or direction for life, unsure of what would become of family, relationships and/or circumstances, there is an assurance. Although he had to die, my Dad made sure that I knew that at the center of every struggle, there is the Comforter; there is the knowledge, there is the promise that the heavenly Father will be there. It’s true for me, and it’s true for you.
If I can put make it plan; five years prior to my father’s death, my mother died. Yet, in the throes of an extended period of personal sorrow, I experienced the peace of God that surpassed all my understanding. Through Christ, He guarded my heart, regulated my mind and preserved my soul. I learned to trust God unconditionally.
Today, I know for sure that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! It doesn’t matter what the obstacle or the challenge, I know He will see me through! It’s a matter of faith.
I encourage you to never lose your faith in Christ. Don’t ever lose hope in His promise; He will never leave you nor forsake you. It might be dark today, but I guarantee you that the sun will come out tomorrow! You will never be forsaken. Let your requests be known to God!
Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; and creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen on the internet at Soul 1 Radio.