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 13, 2014

Did I Miss God's Will?

Dear Friends,

Finding the will of God for our lives should be easy. After all, we know and love the Lord and want to serve Him. Yet around the corner of our surrender to the Lord we sometimes find confusion and regrets. “Did we miss the turn in the road?” a young pastor asked me. “Things have not been as we were led to believe they would be.”

Around our glad, “Yes Lord, anytime anywhere any way,” may be a day that finds us saying, “Oh no Lord, I never expected this!”

My husband was addressing the questions of a crowd of British teenagers who wanted to know just how they could know the will of God for their lives. He gave a great illustration. “Life is like a runway,” he said. “Before a plane lands it helps to have the lights that lead up to the runway lit before you land.” Then he talked about some of those landing lights. 

The advice of Christians. Seek out Christians who are a little bit further along the road of faith than you are. It also helps if they know you well.

Inner convictions. This is different than feelings. The Holy Spirit does not come into our lives to do His deepest work in the shallowest part of us, which is in our emotions. He comes to do His illuminating work in the deepest part of us which is in our knowings - our convictions.

The Word of God. Principles from the Word will help us know His will. As we diligently keep our head in the Book a line of action will be confirmed.

Circumstances. How are the circumstances pointing?

Common sense. God expects us to use our reasoned judgment, which is another word for common sense.

Honesty. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to know the will of God whatever it is?”

Once as many of these lights as possible are lit, then land on the runway, asking God to, if you have misread the lights, abort your landing! 

“What happens if you land and you find you shouldn’t have?” inquired a young girl. 

“The Christian life is like a freeway not a tightrope,” my husband explained, changing the analogy. “There is plenty of room to crash, bump up against the fence, right the car and continue on your way a little bruised, but sadder and wiser!”

I have found that God is far more anxious to have us get it right than we are! Just because things are difficult doesn’t necessarily mean that you took the wrong turn. Jesus said, “I am the way.” Follow Him as best as you can and He will never leave you nor forsake you.

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