Scott Pierson [Seminary]
There are many ways that the Lord “makes all things new.” It can be hard to see how the Lord is using your circumstances to work this in you. For me, this happened during what would have been my second year of seminary. My first year was rough. The burnout of being in school for almost 20 years, since I was 5, had caught up to me. Between the burnout and the other responsibilities, I began to crumble. Seeking advice from people whom I trusted, I decided to take a year off school.
It was a difficult decision to make because part of me felt like I was failing. I could have just wallowed in a pity party, feeling like my life was going nowhere, but looking back, I can see how God used that time to make me new. My time away from seminary stoked the passion that I have for becoming a pastor. The Lord used this time to renew and refresh my mind so that I could come back ready to learn. That year off will probably be one of the most important years of my life because of how clearly the Lord worked in me.
Maggie Holt [Bible College]
How do you write about being made new when you have felt defeated? Recently, I have lost many battles to sins which I have wrestled with for years. I battle with self-control over my words and emotions. Although I know God intends my words to be used for His glory, I have often used them for my own. My emotions have become my master, which I serve instead of God.
What should Christians do when they lose their battles with sin? We must run to God. The Book of I John has recently become my comfort as it reminds me of both God’s grace and His design for my life.
I John 1:9 declares, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” God is making me new every time I bring my sin to Him in confession. Again and again, I need to be reminded that, although I struggle with sin, the battle is already won by Jesus. This side of heaven I am still imperfect, but Jesus is patiently changing me. This is especially evident when the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin and draws me to repentance.
There are times when as a believer I still feel old and stuck. However, God is doing a work in me, which always starts with His grace.
Grace Taylor [Bible College]
Springtime at the Bible College is my favorite time by far. There is a newfound energy in everyone on campus, and all the colors of summer are coming back. This year, specifically, spring reminded me of something that brought joy and new life into my everyday tasks. One thing that I’ve always struggled with is doing daily devotions. I’ve forgotten about them and even avoided them at times. This year, I started hearing from fellow classmates that their devotional life was something that really impacted them. So, at the start of 2021, I put my main focus on my devotions, and it has transformed my outlook on my relationship with Christ. It made me feel like a new person, and I am better focused on what God has in store for me. Hosea 6:3 says, “Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” When we acknowledge Him and read His Word, He will bring us new life and joy.
Keziah Quanbeck [Bible College]
As I entered my senior year of high school, it seemed that I had much to be excited for. But I found myself overcome with a sense of meaninglessness. I no longer saw any reason for doing the things I did each day. I felt like an empty shell of who I once was, and it got to the point that I completely lost the zest for life that I had possessed for so many years prior.
God, in His love, did not leave me there. At the most opportune time, my church went through a sermon series on Ecclesiastes. As I read it, I was struck by the familiarity of the sentiments I found written there. The writer described perfectly what I was feeling. He explains that life is meaningless without the Lord in it. Once I realized that this world can never satisfy my deepest longings, God slowly brought me to a place in which I found joy in life again and had the drive to press on.
While I have experienced various other trials during my time at FLBC, I have the assurance that God is with me daily, renewing my mind, refreshing my heart, and making everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The Lord is teaching me to not be so disappointed when life isn’t everything I expect it to be, and He continually gives me hope and strength to face each day.
Danny Faber [Bible College]
“God makes all things new” is one of the most powerful aspects of our God. He forgives me for my past transgressions, and He makes all my sins white as snow. I came from a Christian home but decided I wanted to go on my own path and deny God. That led to all sorts of problems, many of which I never thought I could forgive myself for. I came to Bible College to get away from home, but my problems followed me here, and I realized I needed a Savior.
I gave my heart to Jesus a few months into my first semester. I look back and wonder why I never accepted Christ into my heart sooner, because it is true: He makes all things new for those who trust in Him. I came to FLBC believing I would never connect with any of the people here, but I was mistaken. I have met my best friends and people I call family. I was lost and in need of good influences and people in my life. I needed something much greater than what is of this world. I found that at FLBC, and you can, too!
Cameron Fouks [Bible College]
As I look to the future, I can’t help but look back to see how God has worked in my life, especially in the last year. If you had met me a year ago, you would have met a burned out and very pessimistic person who always saw the worst in people. Still, I knew this needed to change because I was unhappy. God knew this, too, and gave me a shove in the right direction after a couple of years of my mother and brother telling me I should go to FLBC.
I started filling out an application, got halfway, and thought I’d finish it later. Fast forward a couple of months, and I’d forgotten about it. But after an infuriating day at work, I was sitting in my car cooling off and contemplating quitting when I got a phone call from the admissions advisor, Dalton. He convinced me to finish the application and told me that he would be praying for me. That phone call helped me decide to take a year and go back to college. I later received a letter from the dean, reassuring me that I made a good decision. Throughout the last year, I’ve made friends who encourage me in my walk with God. God has changed me to love people I don’t know, and He has helped me to see what I am without Him in my heart. He has convicted me and proven that He is trustworthy and true.