It's good to be home. We've done quite a bit of traveling in the past month. Most recently, we spent several says at the annual conference for the International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC) in Denver Colorado. The topic of this years conference was, Triumphant Living in Troubled Times. Each speaker focused on how Christians can live when life comes crashing down on us.
When the cupboard is empty and the bank account is too, you may have a hard time imagining how you will see God’s faithfulness and how He will provide for your needs. You may get angry when God doesn’t do things the way you think He ought to, but that is because you want to control your circumstances; you want to be your own sovereign. You become angry and depressed because in your view God is not caring for or about you.
Remember, God always cares for His children. It doesn't always look or feel like "caring" does it. Sometimes, the way He cares for you means hard work instead of a hand-out. Sometimes it means you will suffer for a while as God patiently teaches you a life lesson.
God does move his creation in ways we do not see to act on our behalf. I can recall several times in my life when I had a need that I brought only to the Lord, and God met the need through people. I recall a time that a church we attended had a huge need. God provided for that financial need in order to complete an expensive project.
I have a friend whose husband was very sick with cancer. He was not quite thirty years old when he was diagnosed with a very rare form of lymphoma. From the beginning the odds were poor but he decided to fight to live for his wife and young children. The story of faith for this young couple went on for over a year and they had many times of faith building. They consistently demonstrated great faith that God was completely in charge of what happened with his illness. His wife was confident that should the Lord take her husband home that He would provide for her and the children. She had such tremendous faith in the midst of horrible personal circumstances!
When God called this husband and father home the young widow continued to demonstrate strong faith that God loved her, and would continue to care for her, and provide for the needs of her family. They were an incredible witness to God's love and faithfulness throughout their intense ordeal. Thanks to social media, many Christians were encouraged in their faith and thousands and thousands of unbelievers were exposed to God because of his illness.
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16 (NIV)
It's interesting that God doesn’t allow us to “bank” grace for a time of need. We can’t store it up today for the future, but I say to you that God’s grace will be present and overflow in time of need. Grace is experienced as a supernatural ability to bear up under something that would otherwise crush or kill us. It presents itself as strength and an under-girding of power that cannot be seen by the one in the midst of the fire, but it is seen by those observing the recipient of that extraordinary grace Grace comes through faith in God—faith in His power, His person, and His promises.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
This is why we must share our burdens and the victories God gives us in them. We testify to His goodness, faithfulness, and grace when we do.