Romans 8:17 (NKJV) And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Like many other people, my parents thought that if they honored God and dedicated their children to the Lord, they’d somehow be protected from pain, suffering, and life’s difficult realities. I am certain learning later in life that their son-me James Jr. was chemically addicted helped them to see that this belief was false.

My parents wrestled not only with my problem but also with their own feelings of guilt. They wondered what they could’ve done differently to keep their son from a chemically addicted lifestyle. Sorrow and regret consumed them. Every parent wants the best for their children in life. However, God always has a plan and most of the time the Lord’s plan does not work the way we would have planned for ourselves.

Yet God used that terrible incident to mold and deepen my parents’ faith. Suffering brought them face-to-face with change they’d never anticipated. It was in that dark and painful crucible that my parents learned even more about compassion, courage, forgiveness, and repentance. What do you do when your heart is broken?

My beloved now passed away parents James and Shirely Baker’s hearts were truly broken, but they were also truly changed for the better. They loved on me like never before, and twenty six years later; me their son me James Jr., I am writing word cup to the world with the help of God and great supporters like you! And when my parents were in their time of transition from this life on earth, I was present with Dad, and then Mom. In fact, I was healed by the Lord from my addiction sharing the message of Christ!

Point to ponder- You, too, can and should learn from suffering. Don’t be angered by it. Don’t come out the other side a bitter person. Look at your suffering as an intimacy with the Lord time to sense his love and compassion, and to grow to trust God and grow closer to Him. I hope today’s message encourages someone not to give up on God or the people you love the most today!

Follow me on Twitter @ElderJamesBaker, as I endeavor to encourage and empower leaders of today and tomorrow!

Every Sunday we receive spiritual nourishment from our pastors; however they need continued growth and nourishment also. October is Pastor Appreciation Month—show your pastor how much you value his/her ministry in your life by giving them a gift of continuing Ministry life.

Our Leadership team is especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of September by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season. Why don’t you take the opportunity to write us on our blog and let us know how we are doing in serving you Great people, we’d love to hear from you!!!

Kingdom Blessings,
Pastor James Baker, Jr.
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