One of the sources of inspiration in my life was a woman somewhat younger than I, a woman who basically was sick her entire adult life. She died when she was only 42. But I will never forget the way in which she lived her life. She refused to let her illnesses define her. She refused to let her illnesses beat her down into feeling useless. She continued to do things for other people and touch their lives, and the church was packed for her funeral. I look forward to seeing her in heaven. With God’s help she overcame.
I don't know anybody who isn't broken in some way. I don't know anybody who is breezing through life. Even the superachievers--the wealthy, the beautiful, the famous--these people too have to deal with depression, fear, anxiety, self-loathing, and death.
In the seven little letters that St. John wrote to Christians in Asia Minor, letters contained in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, he spoke about their struggles and hardships. Each congregation, and the individuals in them, had problems and challenges. But to each one he gave encouragement to overcome, and to each one he gave God's promises of magnificent blessings in the end: "the right to eat from the tree of life" (2:7) and "the right to sit with me on my throne" (3:21). "I will never blot out his name from the book of life" (3:5).
I know that you struggle too. In this booklet I will ask you to reflect on the frustrations of your life, but I will invite you also to see more clearly and rejoice at what God has been doing for you and through you. You can grow confident in claiming his marvelous promises of strength and stamina. In this way you too will overcome.
--Pastor Mark Jeske
Copyright 2007 Fellowship for the Performing Arts