July & August 2016

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When we pass through testing times how does our faith stand up? Do we think that God doesn`t care and fail to trust Him? When Jairus came to Jesus, on behalf of his daughter, she was alive. The delay, caused by the woman with the issue of blood, meant that before Jesus could get to his home his daughter had died. Jesus` words to him were, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mar 5:36). You can well understand the father with the demon possessed son, which the disciples could not cast out, asking Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” (Mar 9:22). To which Jesus reply, “Everything is possible for him who believes.” prompted the response, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (9:24).

It is easy for preachers or ministers to say, “Just believe,” when they are not going through the experience but when you are in the midst of it, it is a different matter. I remember a friend speaking to me about a preacher that he wouldn`t take anything from him because he had no experience. I don`t agree with his reasoning but people like you to understand something of the situation. The American Indians put it like this, ‘to have walked in their moccasins,’ know what you are talking about. Been there, got the tee shirt.

Epaphroditus, sent by the Philippians to minister to Paul`s needs, had become ill almost to death. Paul was a prisoner and could have done without this extra suffering. He recalls it like this, “God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.” (Phil 2:27). God does understand the things we go through and they are always for a reason. The main reason is given by Peter, “These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Pet 1:7). So these things are sent to try us, to test our faith, and it shows the love of God. He wants our faith to be genuine. He already knows. But how do we know how good our faith is if is not tested? Isn`t it better to find out now before it is too late? Our faith may be like a bucket with holes in it. It  won`t hold water and is useless.

Suffering should cause us to praise God that he counts us worthy to suffer for his name. We have a High Priest who understands our weaknesses. If he allows us to suffer he will also give us the grace we need. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4:16)

Every blessing be yours in Christ Jesus.

John & Hilary

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