Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Genuine Faith Stops Whining

Dear Friends,

I had some friends who lost a child in an accident.  They moved into a “faith distress” mode.  Then they allowed God to develop their faith in Him in the crisis.

The thing that impressed me about my friends was their refusal to complain.  They refused to complain about the expense of the funeral or the inappropriate remarks of people who offered glib comments on things they really didn’t understand.  They cheerfully persevered in their ongoing ministry, not without appropriate tears, but with a stubborn affirmation in God’s sovereign goodness.  In other words, they refused to whine!

What are you busy whining about at the moment?  In our son and daughter-in-law’s kitchen, they have put up a plaque for their seven children.  It simply says:  No Whining!  God wants us to put one of those up on the wall of our minds, too.

None of us likes to suffer in silence.  We like to lament loudly!  Sometimes I think Christians are the world’s worst whiners!  Why is it that believers so often portray such a piqued attitude?  It is as if we feel we have an inalienable right to a charmed life!  God wants us to stop whining when we face difficulty.  Instead, He wants us to humbly submit to the difficulty and bear it patiently, knowing that He has permitted the situation. 

Jeremiah wrote of a man who should “bury his face in the dust” (Lam. 3:29).  He used this familiar picture of a person submitting himself to another by falling prostrate in the dirt in complete submission.

The aspect of humble submission has been incredibly hard for me.  I just love to gripe and complain.  It just comes naturally.  And that is the problem, of course.  It comes naturally.  It is part of our sinful nature.  We can monitor our growth in grace by our willingness to stop it.

God hates whiners!  He was constantly telling the children of Israel to stop it.  In fact, He is still telling us in the New Testament how He felt about all the grumbling His people did in the Old Testament:  “Do not grumble, as some of (the Israelites) did – and were killed by the destroying angel” (1 Cor. 10:10).  If the destroying angel meted out such drastic punishment to whiners today, I wonder how many of us would be left?

The spirit of humble submission to hardship will display a faith that is working in a Christian’s life.  That is faith to display to our world!

Blessings,


Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine




Monday, October 20, 2014

Faith Displayed - Belief in God's Goodness

Dear Friends,

Genuine faith believes in God’s goodness!

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him,” we read in Lamentations 3:25.

I had some friends who lost a child in an accident.  They moved into a “faith distress” mode.  Then they allowed God to develop their faith in Him in the crisis.  As the parents rushed to the hospital, one prayed out loud, “Oh God, will you be good to us and save our child?”  The other parent said, “There’s something wrong with that prayer.  Isn’t God good if the boy dies?”

Together they came to the realization that God was good whether the child lived or not!  Bad things that happen do not change the character of God!  The child did, in fact, pass away, but my friends displayed a faith in the goodness of God despite the bad outcome of the incident.

Unwavering faith in God’s goodness is a display of faith that amazes the world and brings great glory to God.

Blessings,
  

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine


Monday, October 6, 2014

Use Your Influence

Dear Friends,

Are you ready to use your influence to help others? We shouldn’t be afraid to invite such influence. We should be praying daily about how God wants to use us in our sphere of influence.

At a conference in the north of England I listened to the testimony of a businessman who had invited some young evangelists to dinner. These young men and women had a dream of reaching India by mobilizing students, equipping them for literature work, and driving all the way to India with donated vans full of Bibles to sell. It was a bold plan. The mission team members, led by a young American, were ready for the personal price they had to pay. They had nothing but faith, vision, and a stubborn love for the Lord. The businessman was fascinated with their spiritual nerve. “What can I do to help?” he asked them.

Well, he could give them a room in his house. He could use his influence. He could go to bat for them in the community. And he did. He became part of the founding board and then actually took out a mortgage on his own house to give the team a flying start. He used his influence to launch one of the most exciting mission works in the world today. He put himself at risk to help get the Word of God out to the incredibly needy country of India. Today the mission distributes millions of Bibles around the world. Everyone has a role to play in God’s plan. We just need to make sure we each do our part.

What is God asking you to do? Who is He asking you to influence for His sake?

With joy,


Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine