The writer has it right:

A church relying on human wisdom, wealth or resources ceases to be the body of Christ and becomes an earthly society.

Ironically the writer belonged to a denomination that had no existence in the New Testament and no basis for its doctrine in Scripture. Let us not be self-deceived. Among us are churches relying on their own resources, working only as far as their eye can see.

In his devotional for Jan. 2, Ed Mathews reminds us of how things work in God’s kingdom:

An uncommon control. Delays, setbacks, and detours are routine in the affairs of the kingdom. Yet His cause will succeed, His Church will endure, Matthew 16:18. God knows our struggles. He cares for our situation. His plan will not fail, Joshua 21:45; 23:14; Nehemiah 9:7,8. There will always be troubling developments. Our faith will be tested. Our souls will be tried. But God is “faithful,” I Corinthians 1:9. He did not leave His Son in the grave. Neither will He abandon His people, Psalms 16:7-11.

Let’s ask God to help us be faithful in the midst of testing and troubles.

Focus question: What false hopes or unrealistic expectations cause me to be discouraged? What biblical truths will carry us through these?