Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thinks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thes. 5:16-18 ESV

Some passages of scripture make more sense if you read the phrases from ending to beginning. The phrase “rejoice always,” can seem like Pollyanna advice until you read the last phrase, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

The will of God is the starting place for our response to all of life’s events—the bright ones and the dark ones—but it is especially important during these dark days. What is God’s will for you during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Most believers want to know the know the will of God, but fewer want to follow the will of God. Discovering the will of God is a waste of time unless it is accompanied by a commitment to follow it regardless of whether it aligns with known self-interests.

We can rejoice always—even now, because we know it is God’s will for us. We rejoice that God is in control. We rejoice that this pandemic, like all other pandemics, will have an ending. We rejoice that if even the worst that can happen, does happen that there is hope beyond the grave.

We can pray without ceasing when we know it is God’s will. Instead of just watching the news we can pray the news. When our President or another political leader is featured in a story, we pray for our governing authorities to have wisdom. When we are viewing refrigerated trailers being filled with pandemic victims, we pray for their families. 

When we wash our hands for 20 seconds, we don’t just sing happy birthday; instead, we pray for health care workers who are on the front lines. When we hear an ambulance go by, we pause and pray for our first responders. Twice a day, at 7:14 in the morning and evening we pray that God will hear our prayers and heal our land (2 Chron. 7:14). At 3:16 in the afternoon we remember that God loves the world, and we pray for those who have yet to respond to the gospel.

When you get on one another’s nerves in your home, you pause and thank God for your family and for extra grace. When you are tempted to worry, you pray.

We can give thanks in everything when we know it is God’s will. Please don’t misread the previous sentence. I’m not saying that the present suffering is God’s will. I’m saying a thankful heart is. Even when we cannot give thanks for everything, we can give thanks in everything.

I was asked to write an article on managing conflict during the safer-at-home mandate, which is what I’ve attempted to do. Following God’s will and being a rejoicing, praying, thankful person will inform how you respond to conflict caused by others, and will keep you from spreading it around.

Please, be safer while you are at home. Love and care for one another. Rejoice. Pray. Be thankful.


Read More

Forgiveness, Restoration, and Pastoral Integrity

Forgiveness, restoration, and pastoral integrity are pressing issues in our generation – as they have been throughout history and will be in the future. Yet, as believers, our commitment to robust church fellowship demands we do this hard work.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

When Words Fail

Dr. Iorg responds to the Tyre Nichols tragedy and commends the response of the Nichols family.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

Relationships Matter: Confirmed Again

Dr. Iorg reaffirms the importance of relationships and asks the church to make three choices to promote healthy community.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

Listen

10 Questions with 10 Pastors
January 31, 2023

Brian Simms

In this new episode, our host is joined by Brian Simms, senior pastor of CrossPointe Church in Fontana, CA. Pastor Brian shares his process of how choosing the sermon themes for the year, how he gets organized for the week, and how he has grown over the years.
Lead On Podcast
January 29, 2023

Women in Ministry with Dr. Alicia Wong

Dr. Iorg and talks with Dr. Alicia Wong about the various roles women can take in ministry and especially in church planting.

Watch

Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

Get updates on new content!