CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
September 10, 2023
As we get started this morning, I would like to have a song
played by the Christian group, Rend Collective. The song title is,
“Hallelujah Anyway”. There is a lot being said in this song. I was
drawn to this song because of the honesty that is stated in it. At
times I feel some Christian leaders want to claim that
everything is going to work out the way we want it to if we only
have enough faith and God just doesn’t promise that.
God has promised to be with us. In Isaiah 41:10 we read, “So do
not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your
God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with
my righteous right hand.” I would like for us to look at the
honest situations the song we listened to throws out.
By Rend Collective
“I will find a way to praise you from the bottom of my broken
“I’ll find a way to than you through bitterness is read and hard
cause I’d rather take a chance on hope than fall apart.
I don’t think ‘m ready to surrender to the dark.
Even if my daylight never dawns.
Even if my breakthrough never comes.
Even if I’ll fight to be you praise.
Even my dreams fall to the ground.
Even if I’m lost, I know I’m found.
Even if my heart will somehow say Hallelujah anyway.
I’ll hear a hymn of triumph in the wilderness of my lament in
the lowlands or the mountaintops I won’t forget.
All the goodness that you have shown me, the promises you
have kept. There’s better days on the horizon up ahead.
Let’s look at what was going on with Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego. They had a choice to make – Bow down to the
manmade gods of King Nebuchadnezzar or face certain death.
They could have said to themselves, “God would know that we
don’t mean it. God will forgive us.” But instead, they chose to
take a stand for their God. They without hesitation said, “We
know our God can save us but even if he doesn’t, we will not
bow down and worship your god.” These 3 young men were
faced with a choice – bow down and seemingly save their lives
or stay true to God. They knew even if God did not save their
lives from the furnace, better things were waiting for them. As
strong in the faith as these 3 young men were in this situation, I
was thinking, “Is there anyone in scripture that went through
anywhere near all the things mentioned in the song and yet
remained faithful to God?” I thought of one man who in many
ways stands alone. Do you know who I am referring to? Job. We
have talked about Job before. He loved the Lord with all his
heart. Job loved his family and did all he could to protect them.
God blessed Job with all kinds of success. Without Job having
any idea why, things suddenly began to change. His livestock
was stolen or killed, his land was taken from him, all of his sons
and daughters died. Job had sickness that caused him to be
unable to do virtually anything. Job’s wife and friends offered
no support. There seemed to be no end in sight for what he
was going through yet he remained faithful to God.
When I first really listed to this song, I was challenged to ask
myself, “How would I, how do I respond if and when I never see
the answers I am praying for if my breakthrough never comes?”
One could say this is a kind of depressing song, because it
doesn’t promise everything will work out okay as many
Christian songs do, but the more I listened to this song, it has
become a song of victory to me.
Will we only praise God when we at least see some victories?
Satan said to God about Job, the only reason he praises you is
because you have blessed him with so much. Take it away and
see what happens. So, God allowed Satan to do just that to Job
and yet he still remained true to God.
What about you and me? I know each one here has had trials in
your lives. I also am pretty sure you have seen God’s blessings
at times as well. What if you never have another full-blown
victory the rest of your life? Will you, will I say, even if I don’t
see another victory in this life, my heart will somehow say,
“Hallelujah anyway!” What a testimony of our faith that would
be to a world that is searching for something honest and true to
Sunday School 9:00
Tuesdays 9:30 Bible Study
September 13 Board Meeting—Executive Committee 6:15;
Commissions 7:00; Board 7:30
September 30 Camp Emmanuel Fish Fry; 75 th anniversary
October 1 6:00 Love Feast here
October 8 12:00 Potluck HERE with conversation and sharing
time to follow—Walt Wiltschek, District Executive, will be
present; area churches are invited.
Needed: Children’s message volunteers. Sign up in back.
Donation Box: utilities
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
Keep in Your Prayers
Sharon Lee Traughber (Bill’s wife); Pam and Tom; Iva
Traughber Brunner; Nora Hanaver; Jonah Martina; Jan Bower;
Larry Traxler; Randy West; Michelle West; Michelle’s mom;
Carolyn Hirsch; Eli Brunner; Nancy Fansler; Doug Larrick; Ron
& Kathleen Petersen; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Tina
Wilhelm; Mindy Sawyer; Carl and Wilma Cable; Mike and Carol
Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler;
Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Patty
Cripe; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests;
healthcare workers and first responders; victims of disasters;
victims of shootings; shut-ins; the Nigerian church; Haitian
Brethren; Ukraine; Maui fire victims
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Girard congregation and
Girard Area Homes.