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  • Writer's pictureBill Finnigan

April 2024 Update

Dear Ones:

There’s a false “gospel” being proclaimed abroad that suffering has no part in a Spirit-filled Christian’s life. Multitudes worldwide have been flocking to this “health and wealth” message which offers “trouble-free” salvation; this is very appealing to those who would rather “feel” good than “be” good! The Scripture, however, makes it clear that suffering is an integral part of the believer’s experience. Heb. 5:8 reveals that even Jesus in His humanity “learned...obedience by the things which he suffered.”

Paul’s “new life” in Christ was inundated by bouts of horrendous suffering, not only in persecution, but in all kinds of mental and physical anguish. (cf.2 Cor. 11:23-28) In addition, he suffered with a “thorn in the flesh” given by the Lord to keep him humble and balanced (2 Cor. 12:7). On top of that, his earthly life was ended by Nero’s execution! He never made it to the “condo on the Riviera” but certainly had a triumphant entry and “retirement” in Heaven!

In my early ministry, I heard an old preacher say that “God doesn’t use a man until He hurts a man.” This statement didn’t mean much until in later years I was providentially brought to the “end of my rope” in deep oppression. I had a “taste” of Job’s experience with the satanic warfare. My Sovereign Lord lovingly used the enemy (and others) to discipline (train) and mature my life. (cf. Heb. 12:5&6)

We have no idea to what extent He will go to prepare us for His glorious service. People are hurting all around us and only those who have been “hurt” can effectively relate and minister to others who hurt! It takes one to know one! Your present journey through “deep water” may just be God’s preparation for real ministry to someone else in the same “boat” of distress. Amen!

Personally, my heart has joined Paul’s prayerful exclamation toward Christ when he cried out; “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection; and the fellowship of His sufferings; being made conformable unto His death.” (Phil. 3:10) The power of Pentecost means “plenty-cost,” made possible only by the Cross! This must be our true Christ-like identity if we’re to “shine as lights” in this dark, sin-cursed world!

I’m busier than ever, preaching and teaching 4 times per/wk. I do get tired in the work, for sure; but never get tired of the work. There’s still ongoing evidence of the Holy Spirit’s moving in my classes. Your continued intercession for me and this ministry is really appreciated. Please pray also for God’s comforting grace for my family as we grieve the recent “loss” of a new-born babe. Thank you!

With heart-felt love and gratitude,

Pastor Bill

Phil. 1:21

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