When we trust in the Lord Jesus, we sometimes think that God will insulate us from the troubles that plague this world – that He’ll coat us with supernatural “Teflon” that will protect us the rest of our lives. But, that’s not what He promised. Jesus said “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows” (John 16:33 NLT). Often those trials and sorrows are the result of living in a broken world. Sometimes, they are the result of someone’s sinful choices, including our own. Regardless of the source of our troubles, God can use them to shape and refine us just as Paul wrote in Romans 8:28-29 (ESV): “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
When we go through difficult times in our lives, it is helpful to be with godly people who can empathize with us – people who understand, care for, and encourage us; people we can count on to speak truth into our lives. If you’re a member of a small group “those people” are usually the other members of your group. As we share life in Christ together in a small group, it becomes second nature for us to bear each other’s burdens and build one another up in faith. In the storms of life, we can count on the members of our small group to come to our aid to the best of their ability.
But sometimes, because of the nature of our brokenness, it is wise to seek the support of people who have been shaped on the “anvil of God’s grace” – people who have “been there” and can help us move forward and experience the victory promised through Christ. Trinity Church is truly blessed to have a number of godly men and women who give sacrificially of themselves every week to lead our Support Groups. They act as conduits of God’s love, mercy, and grace because they have received the same from Him (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). It is an honor to be associated with the men and women who give so selflessly of themselves.
Our groups provide a safe place to go for emotional support and healing though a Christ-centered approach from these loving members of the Trinity Church community. Most groups can be joined at any time and they are open to all people regardless of their church affiliation or faith. In fact, our Support Groups have been used by God to bring nonbelievers to faith and trust in the Lord Jesus! What a wonderful blessing!
It is a privilege to share, in this special edition of Connections, some of the thoughts of people who have taken part in our GriefShare group, from parents of children attending DC4K, and from the leaders of DivorceCare and Every Man’s Challenge. In November, we were notified that our GriefShare and DivorceCare Ministries were among the top 100 in the nation. The God of all comfort is working powerfully through His people!
Pastor Ken Pierce
Pastor of Koinonia Small Groups