I really need to share how God spoke to my heart this week. I know that I have taken a couple detours around the purpose of this blog, however I can assure you that it all ties in. As followers of Christ, affliction does come. The apostle Paul tells that the Godly will suffer persecution and Peter even tells us not to be surprised. It’s normal. It’s what drives me in my ever-constant remembrance of our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in hostile/restricted nations. That there are siblings in this world who live in places where they are shunned from society, that they can’t even buy food because store keepers will not sell to them because they are Christian. It is in light of this truth that it can become very hard to pray for myself and even for others. My complaints become so… petty. And inconsequential.
Nevertheless, I feel very deeply that God is calling me to exalt Himself. All to His glory and to fulfill His command of making disciples and praying for, “…those that are in bonds, as bound with them…” (Heb. 13:3). His commands are my delight, and at the same time they are my strength.
With this truth, I will be marching headlong into the battlefield as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. I will place on my head, the helmet of salvation and on my body the rest of God’s armor. Me and my kids are going out dressed in Ephesians 6 (spiritually, not literally!) to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to a neighboring trailer park. I’ve only told one other person about this (you know who you are!) as of yesterday, but now I’m making it public. I humbly beseech you for your prayers. May it draw many souls to salvation through Christ Jesus (Romans 1:16).
But, I want to go back to sharing how God spoke to my heart this week. I had heard on the radio about a lady who passed away. Apparently she was a strong Christian lady who deeply loved the Lord, but it seems that God had called her home suddenly, in spite her age (50’s) and physicality (healthy). From what I had heard, the passing was quick, that there was no suspicion of foul play, and she was in no danger of illness. She had a husband, children and grandchildren who adored her and a congregation who loved her as well. She was known for loving the Lord and strong in her witness.
Now. I know, that I am not the first person in history, nor the last to question why God takes some of what seems to be persons who bear a lot of fruit for Him home so quickly. As Christians, we deeply ponder how this could happen, and we perpetually ask the super difficult question of, “why?” We reason within ourselves that she could have greatly furthered the Kingdom, so what is going on here? Doesn’t scripture tell us that it’s the wicked who die young (please don‘t misinterpret, I am not talking about children). So, how can we reconcile this? What about the 41 million plus martyrs around the world that have given their lives for Christ, and at that, some very young. How can we process this information without going crazy, or losing some of our faith?
Well, it was the Lord, as gentle as He always is to my spirit, who said that He does what He does to accomplish HIS will. How many times does the Lord command us to, “Trust Him”. He’s basically telling us that He KNOWS what He’s doing. To sum it up, He IS the great I AM. He is Sovereign, and He will do what He will to accomplish His purpose in this earth regardless of what we think He should do. He reminded me that I can trust His purpose for why He took this lady home to be with Him and how He is willing that none should perish, but all should come to repentance.
So, after His reminding truth I had peace flooding through me; I can trust she did not die in vain, nor does anyone who gives their lives for the cause of Christ. Unfortunately for us though, we are not privy to knowing the number of souls who may come to Him through His servant’s death at this time. But isn’t it wonderful to know that we can rest in His assurance that He is doing what He does to accomplish His will? Romans 8:28-31 are some of the greatest verses in the bible, and has brought comfort to many. I pray that it brings comfort to you now:
28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
29 – For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 – Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.
31 – What shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 – He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Tell me that that doesn’t give you hope and comfort! Those verses are a great gift to us. They should not be taken lightly and most importantly, God forbid, they should not be taken for granted! What a blessed thing to know that God works all things to the GOOD for those that love Him, for those that are called according to His purpose, for us who are being conformed to the image of His Son. And, if this is what is going on, then the Apostle Paul says, who can be against us? Because if God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up to die for ALL OF US, how shall He not freely give us all things? Wow! I never get tired of hearing this kind of information. And in reality, this is the kind of truth none of us should get tired of hearing. Oh, what a tragedy it is to see dusty bibles!
Isn’t God good, though? Taste and see that the Lord is good! His salvation is free, and it’s precious. It’s why people give their lives to hold on to it- to hold onto Him. He is better than any lottery, any material object, He is fairer than the fairest, and I will follow after Him no matter the cost. He is worth it, and for those who don’t know Him, He is real. This isn’t some one-sided relationship, folks!
So, please let’s remember those that are grieving for loved ones this week. For those that have lost family members, let’s endeavor to lift them up in prayer, remembering that to the Lord the death of His saints are precious to Him. May He draw many souls to Himself because of what they gave. John 12:24 says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Pray also for myself and our labor of love in the Gospel as we go out into the world. Pray for our light to shine before men that we may bring glory to our Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit no matter what it costs us. May we all grow in knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
As always: YSIC,
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