Ready, set, go: Chapel message prepares the way

February 05, 2019 / by / 0 Comment
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Dr. Tim Griffin, Pastor and Dean of Students, talks to Chapel on Monday at GCU Arena. (Photo by Gillian Rea)

By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau

Prepare. A word with seven letters. Not a simple word. Not one you would expect to find, in its various forms, 136 times in the Bible.

But then, isn’t that what God’s word is all about? That was the subject of Dr. Tim Griffin’s talk at Chapel on Monday morning, when he urged students to prepare for three things – things that go way beyond planning out their career path.

“I think there are things in your future that you need to be prepared for,” he told the crowd at Grand Canyon University Arena.

The first one, the Pastor and Dean of Students said, is “God is much more generous than you know.” He cited Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

“He is way more generous than you even know,” Griffin said. “He will bless you beyond what you can even comprehend.”

That generosity is borne out in joy, satisfaction, contentment, peace and forgiveness, he added, and not in monetary things. The positives in his own life have led Griffin to this conclusion:

“One thing I do know about God: He is a God who blesses His people.”

Griffin’s second piece of advice covered the areas that aren’t as easy.

“It will be hard at times,” he said. “… You will experience the pain of a broken world.”

Our personal pain, in the form of challenges to our health, family, neighborhood, church or something else, can be daunting, but Griffin warned against getting too attached to what happens on earth and losing track of what God sees for us – eternal life.

He pointed to 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, which reads:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Griffin remembers asking God, “What are You doing?” when he faced troubles earlier in his life, but these days he has a new perspective.

“Now it makes sense,” he said. “Now I get it – if for no other reason than to challenge me to trust Him more. …

“We get so caught up in this earthly life, and we get so attached to it that we fail to see what God sees, which is an eternity with Him.”

Griffin’s final thought: God’s will will be done.

People tend to focus on making a difference in earthly things, but Griffin said, “God wants you to be a part of His grand plan in His creation, and that is the coolest thing I can think of.”

That is worth much more than a fancy car or overstuffed bank account, he reminded the students, and read 2 Chronicles 20:6:

“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.”

To close, Griffin told a funny story about his childhood days in Southern California, trying to fit in by going surfing with friends. When he finally got up on a board, he got tossed about by the waves and found himself thrashing to get to the surface – when a man grabbed him by the shoulders and told him to stand up.

He was in knee-deep water.

“I was a pretty lame surfer,” Griffin said, drawing laughter from the crowd.

He added:

“I remember thinking to myself many, many times since that experience how life can seem overwhelming and like it’s going to crush us, and it’s almost as if God is saying, ‘Just stand up. It’s not as bad as you think it is right now. It’s not as bad it feels right now.’

“There will be times in your future where you’re going to feel like the whitewater of life is going to crush you, and God will say, ‘Stand up. Stand up. You’ll be OK.’”

Stand up has seven letters, too. Simple.

● For a replay of Chapel, including the music of the Worship team, click here.

● Next week’s Chapel speaker is Dewayne Hawkins of Life Givers Church

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or rick.vacek@gcu.edu.

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Related content:

GCU Today: Don’t miss out on God’s love, Chavez tells Chapel

GCU Today: McDowell demonstrates how to soothe pain of past

GCU Today: Mueller challenges us to do God’s work full-time


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