I feel the need to discuss what lies at the core of everything I do, everything I feel, everything I am. My faith. It is not something I usually talk about on such a wide platform, but it is not something I am ashamed of either. My faith to me is like the unyielding companion on life’s journey, the supportive friend, the shelter in the storm. In my faith I know who I am and where I am going.
My faith was rekindled in 2012 at a Pentecostal church in Rockingham Western Australia, Sound City Church. It was the home church of my now wife, Alinta, and her family, and she invited me along in the early stages of our courting. For someone who comes from a Catholic background it was nothing short of an eye opener. A full band, electric guitar, drums, speakers, people who could actually sing, lights and everything. It was a lot to take in. The message from the Pastor was simple, easy to understand, and full of passion and hope. The congregation were welcoming, warm, and conversational. None of these things I had experienced before. It was pleasing. It would be many months before I would actually make the decision to give my heart to the Lord, and it is a decision I have not regretted. I was baptised in water not long after and my journey continued. I have seen numerous churches since as I move around the countryside. I now find myself at Lighthouse Baptist Church here in Rockhampton. Working shift work means I miss a lot of services, sometimes I tune in via the live stream if I am away or otherwise occupied. Despite my absence the congregation and Pastors have been exceptionally kind and generous with everything they do. It is comforting to belong to a congregation that is loving, caring, and supportive.
For those who have read my blog for a while now know that I have been through a bit in the past couple of years. For those who haven’t, start from the beginning and work your way through… I’ll wait… Through these times I have had people ask me How can you keep your faith with everything your going through? or Why does your God put you through this? or What did you do to annoy God? All of these statements are indications of a lack of understanding, as opposed to any kind of malice or malcontent. In Romans 5 it speaks about the tribulations that we go through;
3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
As I go through my daily life the verse that has bought me comfort in times when I have struggled, been in pain, suffered, felt hopeless, or simply felt the need to give up, the verse, as you may have guessed is Psalm 73:26 –
My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
It reminds me that no matter what I go through, no matter how often I doubt myself, or my ability, not matter how many times my mortal fleshy body gives up and requires mending, that God is there with me and for me, and with knowledge like that I know I am unstoppable.
Maintain the Rage