Weekly Thought – September 23, 2014
Fred firmly believed in the process of sanctification. “He has a purpose for us – to be transformed into the image of His own dear Son, Jesus. He uses the ups and downs of life to conform us.” Throughout Fred’s life he witnessed the working of God – often through most difficult situations. He loved Andrae Crouch’s song, “Through It All.” His last words on this earth were “I’ve learned to trust in Jesus; I’ve learned to trust in God.”
How has Fred stretched you? How have the Weekly Thoughts strengthened you? During this next 12 months we are encouraging you to share these ideas with us. September 1st was the anniversary of Fred’s 99th birthday. We are taking the next 12 months to celebrate all God has done through Fred and BWF.
Growing in the Spirit
Learning to appreciate God’s silence is part of our spiritual growth. The quiet comes in some of the hardest places – the places we want him to shout out to us. We wait and wait, as David the Psalmist said. Then He answers.
God’s delays are not God’s denials.
We are to be patient. True faith does not require sight or sound. In these quiet times, we know it is our faith that pleases Him. Oswald Chambers, my most revered theologian, says “God honors us with silence.”
One of the most thoughtful books in my library is Philip Yancey’s Disappointment with God. He wrote it after an experience with a young man angry at God for not responding in the way he wanted, this man, a theological student, in total frustration, got up from his knees at 4AM, and went out to the barbeque pit. There he burned his Bible, his notebooks, and walked away from his faith.
God didn’t answer and he was mad. Philip puts a voice to the questions people are afraid to ask: “Is the Father listening to me? Can he be trusted? Does He even exist?” I am convinced God is not afraid of these questions. Too many Christians think their assignment is to protect Him. His integrity is worthy and equal to every challenge. The deep-rooted answers come through struggle. God’s goal for us is to grow to look like Jesus. He is serious about our growth, so we shouldn’t be surprised at the process.
Downturns in our lives can be the result of outside forces, like a corporate reorganization. They can also be the outcome of bad decisions we make in our daily dealings with family, friends, or associates. True and useful perseverance requires the understanding of the difference between external and internal causes. A critical element is the understanding of the difference between sin and a mistake. If it is a mistake, we correct it; if it is sin, we confess it.
Think about: 1) How dependent is my faith upon my circumstances? 2) What is my definition of the difference between sin and a mistake? 3) What questions am I afraid to ask of God?
Words of Wisdom: “God’s delays are not God’s denials.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5 NET Bible)