My thoughts this week have been from different books I have been reading and from some life experiences. Many of you remember my sister who loves in South Africa. Well, they keep experiencing traumatic events. Their oldest fell out of a tree and severely broke his arm. A good surgeon was able to put wires and plates in several places in that arm and it should heal and be fine.
Here are all his wires and plates that will have to come out some in 6 weeks and some in 6 months:
However, in the day leading up to the surgery, my sister was a little distraught as she at first could not be with him. She had three more children and they have one car. Daddy had driven Caleb to the hospital that could do the surgery and was more than an hour away. In the end, a friend picked Amy and the kids up and Amy was able to see Caleb before surgery.
Then we heard of another missionary family who was robbed of many items this past week.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
is the question many people may ask. But the question maybe should be,
“Why am I living such a life of ease?”
God never promised that life would be easy. In fact, He promises the opposite.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
1 Peter 1:6-7
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
And He promises that He will be with us.
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As we have heard of many missionaries experiencing hardship recently, we have realized it is not just our family that has been attacked–many people in other countries have suffered for the name of Christ. Then when we consider all the Christians who have been imprisoned, homeless, and even beheaded for the sake of Christ, we realize we are living in luxury and do not know what real persecution is and that our life is rather easy.
So what is my responsibility?
To uphold these Christians up in prayer. I really can’t do much besides that! There are many ways we can pray for them. Here are just a few ways we can pray for those in “harms” way:
- Pray for their physical strength.
- Pray for them to be strong of mind.
- Pray for them to persevere.
- Pray for them not to succomb to the spiritual battle.
- Pray for wisdom and direction.
- Pray for safety.
- Pray for them to have godly friends who will help hold them up.
- Pray that God will be glorified.
And there are many other ways that you can pray for them. They receive strength through the body of Christ praying.
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I have been reading two books the past week for different books studies I am participating in. One is A Place of Quiet Rest. In the chapter I was reading this week, Nancy Leigh DeMoss talked about doing our quiet time with God even when we don’t feel like it or when we can’t feel God working. Some of what I was reading goes along with my thoughts above. I love how the chapter ends:
Younger, less mature believers are often granted a special, conscious sense of God’s presence. As we grow, He provides opportunities for us to trust Him when we cannot see Him. God is pleased with the faith that is strengthened in the darkness. That is what is at the heart of Isaiah’s exhortation to those who have faithfully followed the Lord but cannot sense His presence:
Who among you fears the LORD
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God.
The Enemy will throw these and other obstacles in our path to try to get us live the Christian life apart from consistent, daily time in God’s presence. At times you will get discouraged and may feel like throwing in the towel. Don’t quit! Keep pursuing Him. Your search will be rewarded.
The other book I have been reading is The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman. I really enjoyed the chapter on Words of Affirmation. I need to be doing this more and make sure my words are not destructive.
The word encourage means “to instill courage.” We are seeking to give children the courage to attempt more.
The greatest enemy of encouraging our children is anger.
This past week, I have enjoyed reading many of your Thoughtful posts. Here are three that I picked this week to feature:
- HOW WILL THE PEOPLE OF THE CROSS RESPOND? from Front Porch Inspired. One line from the post: “People of the Cross was their identity – and it is ours as well.”
- Granting God’s Grace in Difficult Times from Loving Christ Ministries– my children are just getting up to the teenage years and it was encouraging to read how this blogger applied God’s grace to a difficult circumstance she went through in her family.
- “Mundane” Ministry from Encouraged at Home: Many times our ministry as moms at our home may seem mundane, but that is the ministry God has given us to do!
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