GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—“What is your expectation of God?” This opening question by keynote speaker Mike Hess set an appropriate tone for the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches’ 2018 Conference: “Hope in Harsh Times.” Hess, GARBC national representative, continued, “We all like things to go well in life and ministry but know that it will not always go the way that we might desire. It is in those moments that we learn that God doesn’t always give us what we want, but He always gives us what we need.”

Hess developed the conference theme through a series of expository messages from three chapters of 1 Peter. The messages dealt with three practical topics: “How to Respond to Suffering like Jesus Did” (1 Peter 2), “How to Prepare Yourself to Suffer Well” (1 Peter 3), and “Truths to Consider When Suffering for Doing Right” (1 Peter 4).

“The greatest thing we can do when receiving unjust treatment is to respond in a Christlike way,” he said. “We can’t control how we are treated, but we can control how we respond.”

Berean Baptist Church hosted the conference Oct. 29–30. The church recently renovated its foyer, as well as other areas. “The improvements have certainly enhanced the traffic flow and atmosphere of the facilities,” says Ken Floyd, director of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches. Floyd closed out the conference with a message on “Shepherding with Hope in Harsh Times” (1 Peter 5).