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A friend of mine, who professes to be a Christian, trying to bring some comfort to my family last week, called me and was surprised to hear me saying that we were finding comfort in God’s Sovereignty; in knowing that God had the days of our baby Faith counted, and that it was God himself who had decided to bring her to Him before she could see the light. My friend insisted that God would not do such a thing.
If you have followed my blog for a little while, you have probably noticed that I like to insist, to persuade my readers to study the Word of God, to dig deeper into the Scriptures, to pursue sound doctrine; not necessarily in order to be able to point out those who teach wrongly, but to be able to grow in Christ and stand firm in the day of trouble. And now, more than ever, I affirm this truth: What we believe today, when the waters are calm, will either sustain us or bring us to despair the day in which our faith will be put to test.
Because, yes, our faith WILL be put to test sooner or later.
We believe that God is reigning supremely over all; He is sovereign and good to His people. He is Omnipotent and at the same time mindful of His children. We believe that God is Faithful, and never breaks a promise, so if He has said that all things work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose; then the home-coming of Faith was something good.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:26-30
No, we have not asked “Why, LORD?” lifting our fists against Heaven; and we have not done this, first of all because the Lord has restrained us from sinning against Him; and secondly because we know Him. We know His character, and we rest assured in the sound doctrine of God’s Sovereignty.
“I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
for it is you who have done it.”
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.”
My friend has obviously a difficult time when trials to come, she has a hard time trying to solve the puzzles, and to give answers to all the “why’s” that assault her mind and heart. In her theology God is All-Powerful, but only until the Devil shows up, and messes up all things. Then God appears again and transforms all things, all the mess, into something good.
While the “problem of evil” is there, and we have no explanation to it (because the Bible doesn’t tells us about it) we do have an answer to it: God is Sovereign and All-Powerful and has conquered the evil one.
Dead doesn’t have a sting anymore, however, it still hurts; but we keep on pressing with our eyes fixed on Jesus towards the resurrection of our bodies and the day when we will be with all the saints in Heaven where tears will be shed no more.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” Philippians 3:12-16
I don’t know where you are standing today, where you are grounded, but remember that the trial of your faith will come; you better start preparing yourself for it even now.
Doctrine, the body of beliefs that you have now, will not only accompany you in the kitchen but also to the funeral of those you dearly love.
Under His sun and by His grace,
Becky thank you for trusting God and for sharing that experience on your blog. No matter what we suffer knowing God is in control is tantamount to not only how we mentally deal with it, but the witness we give to other people. God truly gets the glory in your case my dear Sister and that's so wonderful to see.
I like what Elizabeth said here “Knowing doctrine in an academic sense is one thing. To be met with severe testing and having to walk it out is another. ”
So true, and sadly it's the very place of testing where we truly walk with our Lord..and so many folks never find that “nugget” of truth. Love to you Becky, you and your family are in my prayers.
I'm so sorry for your family's loss Becky. Your faith in the Sovereignty of God in all things is a great testimony. Praying that God comforts in this dark season and that brighter days are not far off.
” we have not asked “Why, LORD?” lifting our fists against Heaven; and we have not done this, first of all because the Lord has restrained us from sinning against Him;”
It blesses my heart to hear you say this Becky. My, how popular it has become to freely express “anger” towards God these days! This is not only wrong and also
The father of the little boy dying of cancer who we've been praying for echos your family's trust and faith in God in the fire. What encouragement that is to the rest of us!!
If God is not Sovereign then how could He possibly be God?
Much love to you and your family.
You wrote, “If you have followed my blog for a little while, you have probably noticed that I like to insist, to persuade my readers to study the Word of God, to dig deeper into the Scriptures, to pursue sound doctrine; not necessarily in order to be able to point out those who teach wrongly, but to be able to grow in Christ and stand firm in the day of trouble. And now, more than ever, I affirm this truth: What we believe today, when the waters are calm, will either sustain us or bring us to despair the day in which our faith will be put to test. Because, yes, our faith WILL be put to test sooner or later.”
I think what really stands out for me today, as I read your blog, is the selflessness of Christ which you embody here, as you share with all of us what you’ve learned as you walked through the valley with your sister and family and are learning still. I hear the sense of urgency in your voice and the love with which you share that the time for preparation is now so that what we believe will sustain us in those times of trouble that we are certain to face.
I am so grateful that God has answered my prayer, not just to have friends but to have friends that are mature, godly Christian believers who rightly follow Jesus Christ and the Word of God, true believers whom I can use as examples of what it really means to walk in godliness, even through life’s greatest trials.
Thank you, Becky, for being a friend with a godly, biblical motive to help me grow in Christ and stand firm in that day of trouble that I will surely face and have at times already, unprepared and uncertain, ashamed before God in my disobedience.
I can’t put to words what it means to me to read what you have shared today and what you and Norma have shared in the days preceding. I know I need to commit even more to studying God’s word, to dig deeper still into scripture in pursuit of sound doctrine. I can’t think of a better thing that a friend could insist on or persuade me to do. Thank you for doing so here.
With much love and deep appreciation for all you share,
We do not grieve like the rest of men who have no hope. Even in death, we can say, “Let light shine out of darkness…”
Knowing doctrine in an academic sense is one thing. To be met with severe testing and having to walk it out is another.
Sometimes, under God's providence, we find ourselves being led down dark hallways, dropped down deep wells. It goes against our sense of self-preservation. We don't know what God is doing. We can only cry out, pray, and trust.
And only in hindsight can we look down and see the nuggets of gold He placed in our hands when we were overwhelmed with sorrow.
Thank you for sharing your gold today, Becky.
Amen, Becky! Life and death are hard on this side of life, but correct doctrine brings comfort and a greater sense of God's sustaining love and presence. I know how scary it is to live in a world where evil can override God. thank God it isn't so and that He is in total control! Thank you for this good piece. Prayers and love to you!
Such comfort there is in God's sovereign care over us! Beautiful post, Becky. How blessed Norma is to have you for her sister and friend. Continuing to pray and sending my love to you across these many miles, my friend.
Becky, seeing you and your sister's faith during this time has been such an encouragement. The last line you wrote here is so, very true. You are bringing great glory to His name, even in the valley. Love and prayers.
I echo Melissa's comment word for word, Becky.
Also, this comment spoke volumes to me: “In her theology God is All-Powerful, but only until the Devil shows up, and messes up all things. Then God appears again and transforms all things, all the mess, into something good.” Thank you for showing this to be the falsehood that it is.
Praising God that your words are filled with such power, because you know Whom you have believed.
These words are so true, Becky:
“Doctrine, the body of beliefs that you have now, will not only accompany you in the kitchen but also to the funeral of those you dearly love.”
Giving glory to God as you testify to Him.
Powerful words, Becky. God working in this situation in your family's life has been an amazing thing to see. Just beautiful.
Love to you, dear friend.