Bill Johnson preached Sunday at a service just a few days after the passing of his wife and co-pastor Beni Johnson. Johnson is Bethel Church in Redding, Calif.’s senior pastor.
“It’s so good to be here. It’s such an incredible privilege to have such a large family, you know,” he said, overcome with emotion.
Johnson spoke about how much God has been good and kind, even during life’s roughest times.
“We don’t get to choose stuff like, ‘I don’t want to experience any pain’ ,” he said.“That’s not an option we get. We do life. In fact, let’s be really honest, He (God) says things like, ‘Rejoice always,’ Pray without ceasing,’ and in everything give thanks. ‘ Those three verses are completely useless if you aren’t going to experience loss and disappointment. Nobody needs to rejoice if everything works as you want it to work. It’s pointless.”
“But what about loss?” Johnson asked. “That’s the mystery that we have the privilege of carrying. The level of revelation God gives you will always be equal to the measure of mystery you are willing to live with. And inability to live with mystery is your resistance to childlikeness. It’s childlikeness that actually gives us access to dimensions and realms in the kingdom that you can’t get in any other way. “There’s certain things He’s hidden in the journey.”
“For example, several years ago, I discovered something about ‘in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because you are with me’ (Psalm 23:4),” the Bethel senior pastor said. “And what I found was, there are measures of His presence that you can only find in the valley of the shadow of death.”
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