I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day,
and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
~ 2 Timothy 4:7-8 ~
My heart is in a spin cycle between heartache and joy at my pastor’s going home to Jesus; truly a bittersweet time for all of us who have been taught and ministered to by him. Though I didn’t attend Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, Pastor Chuck Smith influenced my life in myriad ways.
I first visited Calvary Chapel in 1974 with my high school youth group for a concert and talk by Pastor Chuck. I don’t remember much, other than it was crowded and too loud. It wasn’t until 1990, when I started listening to the local Christian radio station, that I heard Pastor Chuck teach for the first time.
Pastor Chuck was a conduit for the Holy Spirit to effect changes in my life as I heard him (and other pastors) share God’s truth, hope, and love through the radio and online services. He always pointed us to Jesus; in all things, through all things, we were encouraged to always turn to Jesus. Last Sunday, Pastor Chuck, speaking on Romans 4 and Abraham, pointed us toward God regarding the problems and difficulties we encounter. He said Abraham “looked at the problem Solver, not the problem; at what God was able to do. . . Difficulty is measured by the capacity of the agent that is doing the work. . . Jesus said that with God all things are possible.”
His life demonstrated the love, joy, and power of God. He truly lived the abundant life Jesus came to give each one of us. His example in dealing with a stroke and cancer and their related problems—the bumps in the road—changed the way I deal with my physical problems. He didn’t let his physical problems define who he was, but trusted the Lord to give him the grace, peace, and strength to continue moving forward on his road.
Though my heart may ache, I rejoice at the fact that Pastor Chuck is home with the Lord whom he loved so well. I’m thankful that he always directed me to Jesus and for teaching me how to handle the bumps in my road.
Heavenly Father, while our hearts rejoice at Your son’s homecoming, we also mourn his absence. Thank You for comforting Kay, his wife, and their family, the family of believers at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and all who have been touched by him. I believe that his entrance into heaven was joyous, and that You said to him,
“Well done, good and faithful servant;
you were faithful over a few things,
I will make you ruler over many things.
Enter into the joy of your lord.”
~ Matthew 25:21 ~
Precious in Your sight is the death of Your saints; our loss is Your and Pastor Chuck’s gain. Amen.
At the close of most sermons Pastor Chuck would sing a blessing; it’s from Numbers 6:24-26: