Farquhar's Midweek Message 8 July 2020

Scent & Suffering
Farquhar’s Midweek Message – 8 July 2020

I think recently I’ve been dealing with suffering from a worldly mindset. I’ve been seeing it as a drain on my resources, an obstacle to my plans, a frustration to hopefully get free from so I can get on with ‘real’ life. Maybe that’s how you’ve been viewing your struggles and sufferings too? But my loving God has spoken to me through his Word, lovingly showing me that I’m missing the point. Before I get into such a heavy subject I want to ask you a light and easy question. Do you like honeysuckle?

I love honeysuckle. I love the aroma – it brings back wonderful childhood memories playing outside. Stop. Breathe it in. Mmmm…that’s good! This year our honeysuckle plants have bloomed especially well and their beautiful scent is drifting across the garden. When I went up close to take a nose-full of the aroma I was surprised to discover that the red tubular flowers had no scent. 

It was only the ones that had burst open into golden-coloured flowers that were actually exuding the sweet fragrance. And then I saw that these burst-open blossoms were absolutely covered in tiny insects. They were camped out on the sticky flowers surface with no intention of leaving. The honeysuckle needs to open itself out to release it’s glorious scent, but in doing so it has to put up with all sorts of bugs and insects crawling all over it!

This made me think of how when we open our lives up as a pleasing fragrance to God, we make ourselves vulnerable to all sorts of challenges, enemies and struggles along life’s way – we face suffering. But the suffering we face is not meant to force us to close ourselves off to the world in a desire to protect ourselves. We’re not meant to make it our life’s aim to avoid suffering. Instead our life’s aim is to have every part of ourselves open to God in whole-hearted devotion. And when suffering comes our way God will use it in his purposes, if we allow him to.

It was as I listened to Romans being read to me that I saw this truth afresh. Paul says we are to ‘boast’ or ‘rejoice’ in the hope of the glory of God (5:2), and then he immediately goes on to say, ‘Not only so, but we also boast (rejoice) in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.’ (5:3-5).

Isn’t that remarkable? Just as we’re to boast and rejoice in the hope we have in our glorious God we’re also meant to boast and rejoice in our sufferings! How is that possible?!
As followers of Jesus we’re meant to be signed up to the truth that our sufferings produce good things, things of eternal significance, within us. If we go through our suffering with a heart and mind open to God in obedience and trust then we can be sure that our sufferings will produce what’s promised: perseverance which leads to a growth in Christian character, to a strengthening of our eternal hope and a fresh appreciation of the love God has poured into our hearts by his Holy Spirit.

God does understand how difficult our sufferings are. He knows that we will ‘groan inwardly as we wait eagerly’ (8:23) for the Day when all suffering ceases. But by His power and love he wants to use every single second of our suffering to deepen our relationship to Him and to make us more like his Son. We have to remember that in Jesus we have a Saviour who went through sorrow upon sorrow and yet his suffering and death brought about the greatest good – our eternal salvation. We need to trust that ‘In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’ (8:28). And as Paul says in another of his letters, we can be sure that ‘Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all’ (2 Cor 4:17)

So when we’re tempted to close in on ourselves and allow our sufferings to lead us down a road of discouragement, frustration, hopelessness and despair, our Gracious God wants to show us a much better way. A way he’s planned out – that will grow in us a sturdy faith and a deeper sense of his Love and Life in us.

May we encourage one another to stay open to God’s will and way even through our suffering. Pass this message on to someone who needs that encouragement. Whatever you are going through right now may God enable you to be the sweet fragrance of Life to those around you, that they too may come and find Life in Him.

Yours in Christ, the One who bears the scars through which we are forever healed.



Click here if you want to listen to a song called Scars, to help lead you in praise to our Faithful God.

Prayer Topics

Prayer Topics Wednesday 8 July 2020

click here to download the prayer notes

IPCS Newsletter

Inverness Presbytery Church Support (IPCS) 

'Here to serve' Newsletter

8 July - Click here to download

Home Groups

Home Groups take a break over the summer holidays and will recommence at the end of August/beginning September.  We'll confirm the exact dates nearer the time.

It's a chance to catch up and see each other and think more about the Sunday sermon.

Not part of a Home Group and would like to give it a try?

Mens Breakfast

Men's Breakfast

next meet 18th July 2020 

Alternate Saturdays hosted on Zoom 8.30 -10am
the link is on the Wednesday Update email or contact the church office

Coronavirus - Events postponed

Coronavirus - Church update 27th March
In light of Government advice the following church events have been postponed until further notice - 

  • FAB, Wednesday
  • Home Groups - Wed/Thu
  • Sunday Morning and Evening Gatherings
  • Inshes Teens, Sunday
  • Tuesday Fellowship
  • Prayer Time, Wednesday
  • CONNECT, Friday 
  • MOL Monthly Gathering, Sunday
  • Women's Bible Study, Tuesday
  • Men's Breakfast, Saturday
  • T@5.30pm, Sunday 

Annual Stated Meeting 5th March 2020 - Minute

Annual Stated Meeting Tuesday 5th March 2020

Click here to read or download the Minute

Click here to listen to or download the audio file

MOL Monthly Gatherings

In light of the Government advice on the coronavirus
Monthly Gathering have been postponed until further notice

Inshes Church has been the parish for Milton of Leys since 2003, but MOL has rapidly grown since then and in many ways has become it's own distinct community.  For that reason our hope in the years ahead is to establish 'a church in Milton of Leys for the people of Milton of Leys'.
Our Associate Minister Farquhar Forbes (Chaplain at MOL Primary) has been tasked with helping to pursue this vision and for the past 4 years he and his team have run Holiday Clubs & other events in the school hall.

Since August 2019 we've been hosting monthly Sunday Gatherings in the school hall. These have proved very popular with families but we want everyone who lives in Milton of Leys to know that you are welcome too: whatever your age, background or belief.

The Gatherings are free and have a very simple format:
       4.00pm Craft time  with tea, coffee & home-baking
       4.45pm Service - including songs, a Bible reading & a short message
       5.30pm Dinner together

You're welcome to come for all or just part of it.

So far the Gatherings have proved to be a great space for folks to get to know each other and to build community in a relaxed environment.  Its also a safe place for people to come who may be unsure about faith & church but would like to explore it.

Why not pop along and check one out?
You'll get a warm welcome!

FAB Families and Bairns

at Inshes Church
from 9.30am - 11.30am
(during term time)

For families and their wee ones, the group is
specifically for families, mums and dads with
their babies and toddlers. Of course grannies
and granddads welcome too!
Snack is provided for the children
and tea and coffee for the adults.
(Suggested donation £1 per adult & 50p per child)
Plenty of toys to play with and
a craft to make each week.

FAB at Inshes is run by volunteers from Inshes Church

Inshes Teens

  • Gatherings

Latest Church Video

Our "YouTube" Channel - For all our videos

Church Diary