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Hoschton United Methodist Church recently hosted a clean-up work day. "We accomplished a lot," church leaders state. "All the shrubs were trimmed, the sidewalks and parking lot were edged, the flower beds got weeded, windows were washed and a general clean up of the entire church grounds was completed. After all the work was completed, rest and lunch were enjoyed in the fellowship hall."

Hoschton United Methodist Church celebrated Youth Sunday on Sunday, Sept. 29. The congregation watched an excerpt from the movie, "The Shack," based on a book written by Wm. Paul Young. Following the service, the youth served a  taco bar lunch. The youth of HUMC are in charge of the service and a fellowship luncheon every fifth Sunday of the month. Pictured are: AllieAnn Clark and Ben Wiley, who served as greeters on Sunday.

LEWIS: Stay strong during adversity

I’d been living the high life; everything had been going almost perfect for days. Then it happened. In about five minutes I received a text and two phone calls and I was quickly brought back to reality. At that moment, I was faced with some tough issues.

I’m sure none of us enjoys adversity, but we all go through it from time to time. Scripture gives us so many examples of people who go through the fire, but we find that our God is with them every step of the way.

One of the greatest stories which reveals the heart of a young man sold out to God, and God’s faithfulness is the story of Joseph. The teen was favored by his earthly father to such a degree that he received a coat of many colors. Once Joseph’s brothers had an opportunity they contemplated killing him, but sold him into slavery.

I can’t imagine how Joseph felt. I doubt he’d ever been on his own, but he found himself alone as he was led away by the Ishmaelites. I wonder if I would have questioned God at that point. Joseph’s situation quickly began to look up when the group sold him to a high ranking officer named Potiphar. Genesis 39:1 says the Lord was with Joseph and he was a successful man. His master realized God was with him and he prospered in everything.

Praise God that Joseph maintained his faith in God when he was betrayed by his family. It would seem that things were really looking up for Joseph when adversity came his way once again. Potiphar’s wife had an eye for him, and begged him to lie with her. There was no way Joseph would give in to the temptation. He saw this situation as more than a sin against man. I love his response in Genesis 39:9. “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God.” Evidently the woman felt chided, so she devised a scheme and Joseph found himself in prison. Yet again, God didn’t leave him there. Joseph found favor with the prison keeper, and he used his God-given talent of interpreting dreams to find favor with the king.

Before it was all over, Joseph was second in command in the kingdom and had a chance to help his family when a famine spread across the land. Joseph could have repaid evil for evil, but he chose to repay evil for good. He helped the family and he was later reunited with his father.

Throughout this story we never read that Joseph gave up on God. We never hear that he decided to do things his way. He kept the faith and God’s plan in his life.

When we face adversity we have a choice. First, some people blame God and walk away from Him. The great second choice is to run into the arms of God. Here we experience a deeper relationship with God that we would never know if our lives were easy all of the time.

In our deeper walk we will develop unshakable faith. Joseph didn’t bend when Potiphar’s wife tried to entice him; Joseph didn’t break when he was thrown into prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

He knew he could trust God in the pit. He knew he could trust God in slavery, and he knew he could trust God in the prison cell.

What about us? I’m sure some of us are facing adversity today. My prayer is that we will not bend, and we will not break because God is faithful, and He will be with us every step of the way.