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"All I Want Is to Be Counted Worthy"

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"All I Want Is to Be Counted Worthy"

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Dear brethren,

Having been given the privilege and opportunity to write to all of you, I want to write a letter instead of an article. I want to connect personally, heart to heart, about one of the greatest reasons we believe in God our Father and in Christ our Lord, and to suggest something that I hope we can all share more often and openly with one another. Telling a story is the best way I know to do this.

Recently my wife and I were visiting with a dear friend who was quite ill, and in a hospital. For a long while she had not been feeling well, and then the problem became much worse. A bad infection had developed internally, and for several days the pain was constant and excruciating. When we visited her the outcome was uncertain, not just about how much damage might be done by this infection, but whether she would survive.

As we talked with our friend she made a profound statement that sparked the thought for this letter to you. The subject turned to one of her most deeply held convictions, and she said, “All I want is to be counted worthy.” Her thoughts were about the future, about the “exceedingly great and precious promises” that God has given us through Jesus Christ. She wanted more than anything else to be among those who will rise in the first resurrection and receive eternal life, to enter “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:4 2 Peter 1:4Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
American King James Version×
, 10-11).

It’s interesting that some of our most focused and poignant thoughts and prayers come at those times of greatest stress in our lives. When our friend faced this fiery trial, she focused on the promises of the future, with a personal expression of a deeply held desire to be counted worthy of all that God has promised. She was taking very seriously and personally the things we understand to be the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets (the return of Christ and the resurrection of the saints), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Jesus Christ ruling for a thousand years over the Kingdom of God on this earth, and the saints reigning with Him).

With these things in mind, I’d like to suggest two things that I hope you’ll find edifying and encouraging. As a pastor, I see the need for helping one another in a way that will fill a great need. The conversation at our friend’s bedside in the hospital reminded me of this need, which I have seen at other such moments of personal trial.

First, since this is the time of year when we observe the Feast of Trumpets and Feast of Tabernacles, let’s consider looking at the meaning of these two Feasts from the perspective this close friend was able to do. She saw these promises as being something to embrace, to hold close and tight, to never let go of, even if she had to give up everything else, including her physical life. Her understanding of the promises of the first resurrection and being in the Kingdom of God was very personal, very real, and for her, seemed quite imminent. If we can recognize from the experience of this sincere sister in the faith how personal and how directly tied to God’s plan of “bringing many [children] to glory” the meanings of the upcoming Feasts really are, perhaps we will be able to gain more this year than ever before from our observance of them. Adding this personal perspective, knowing that one day we may see things from a similar personal point of view, may help us gain the same passion to be there when Christ comes on the clouds of heaven and calls us to meet Him in the air. Someday the Feast of Tabernacles will be held in Jerusalem, and all the saints and people from every nation will go there to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts. Like our friend who wanted this more than anything else, we can have that kind of passion, and be sustained by it even when we face the great trials of this physical life.

Secondly, brethren, as a pastor who hears the words of faithful people at times of intense trial in their life, I believe there is a great need for us all to speak often to one another of the promises God has given to us, of our belief in the sureness of a wonderful and eternal future, of the hope that is within us. God notices and appreciates such communication, as we see in Malachi 3:16-17 Malachi 3:16-17 [16] Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD listened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought on his name. [17] And they shall be mine, said the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son that serves him.
American King James Version×
.

Encouragement is essential to our Christian growth, and can make all the difference in a person’s life. We can, over time, help others to choose to believe and live this way, and it may just be that our encouraging and positive way of looking to the fulfillment of the promises of God will help someone else to hold fast to the end. Perhaps a gift we can all give to others is to share some of that hope in our fellowship at the feasts and throughout the year.

Christ wants to count us worthy, and wants us to be confident in the salvation He is bringing. We serve a gracious God, and have a powerful Savior. I’m happy to let you know that our friend survived her ordeal, and was able to return home soon afterwards. It was a blessing to hear her laughter and optimism return after she received the healing that had been prayed for that day. I know we will speak again and often about those “exceedingly great and precious promises.” And one day to come, you and I will also be able to share many stories of how God brought us “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11 2 Peter 1:10-11 [10] Why the rather, brothers, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you shall never fall: [11] For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
American King James Version×
).

Sincerely,

Roc Corbett, pastor, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas