Friday, December 26, 2014

Persevering in Faith Through the Fire: Pastor Rick Williams' Powerful Testimony

Choosing Conviction Over Compromise

As Christians, we are called to take up our cross and follow Jesus, even when it means making difficult sacrifices. This truth is powerfully illustrated in the testimony of Pastor Rick Williams from Life Spring United Methodist Church. 

In 1979, while attending Southwestern Baptist Seminary, Pastor Rick found himself in the middle of a controversy over the operation of spiritual gifts in the church. He strongly believed the gifts were essential, while the seminary dean took a cessationist position that the gifts had ceased. 

Pastor Rick was given an ultimatum - compromise his beliefs to stay at the seminary with financial support, or leave the school to follow his convictions. After much prayer, he made the difficult choice to withdraw from the seminary, not knowing what the future held for him, his wife, and his calling to ministry.

Looking back, Pastor Rick sees how this trial was preparing him for God's purposes. He wasn't ready at age 24 to enter ministry leadership. God used the following years to provide mentorship and equip him, so that when he did enter full-time ministry in 1993, he was fully prepared. 

As Pastor Rick stepped out in faith, not knowing where God was leading, he began to understand the journey of Abraham, who obeyed without seeing the destination. He learned that God engineers our circumstances, even trials, to shape us into who He wants us to be. Though the cross means death to ourselves, on the other side is resurrection life in Christ.

Pastor Rick's testimony is an inspiration to persevere in faith when we face opposition for the sake of the Gospel. God is always at work in our trials to lead us into His will. May we have the courage to follow Him, even into the unknown, trusting He will provide in His perfect timing as we are faithful. The life of the Spirit and power of God await those who lay down their own way to walk in obedience.

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