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Letter from the Editor

To our readers,

For many members of our APU community — myself included — this semester is their last as an undergraduate student. They are living in a season marked by eager anticipation of what lies ahead: their first “real” job, moving to a new city, getting married and potentially starting a family. For others, this semester may be among their first — a time equally distinguished by hopeful rumination over the adventurous moments they will have during these few, precious years. 

No matter where you find yourself on this spectrum, or even if you are outside of it, I can assure you that God has a plan for you — and that’s not just a cliché.

We have lived through times of deep uncertainty and have only made it through by God’s grace. The Lord placed you here for such a time as this. Though some of us may be weary, take heart because it is the Lord who has been ordaining our steps and will continue to through our dying day (Proverbs 16:9). 

I trust that you are running the course our Father has set before you well; however, if you have stumbled, allow me to encourage you to persevere with the endurance of our Lord.

Hebrews 12:1-2 reads, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

For a moment, consider the cloud of witnesses that presently surrounds you. These witnesses are past heroes of the faith who lived imperfect yet faithful lives for our God, foreseeing the common salvation that you now enjoy in Christ Jesus. 

These saints were not perfect on their own accords but were made perfect through the faithfulness of God alone. The sins that clung so closely to them, and the sins that cling so closely to you, have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb. It is this very Lamb that is the “perfecter of our faith.” 

So, if you are in need of motivation to press on toward whatever calling God has marked out for you — whether it be sacrificing your life for world missions or simply ministering to the person across the room from you — know that the one in whom you stand righteous was obedient to the point of death on a Roman cross: an emblem of ignominy and suffering. 

Perhaps you have been drenched in the sufferings of our Lord, finding yourself poor in spirit, mourning and reviled for Christ’s sake (Matthew 5:3-4, 11). If so, rejoice in those sufferings, “knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3b-5). 

In this issue, you will find stories of perseverance. I hope that you will be exhorted to hold fast to Godly convictions in a world filled with toxic online environments and bitterness. May you wonder at the story of a young hockey player who once had cancer but is now skating freely. May you take some time to consider the hard-working dining staff that so joyfully serves our APU community, and may you, too, serve others with joy.

In Christ,

Brandon Gonzales