Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Midsummer Update.

It’s June 12. I’m right in the middle of my summer break. In seven weeks, I’m done with my summer, and I move across the world. Hello, reality.

        It would be wonderful to say that the past six or so weeks have been carefree, without worry, all fun. But that wouldn’t be true. These past six weeks have been tough. Tougher than I anticipated. Tougher in more than one way. Tougher than I have been able to handle on my own. But amidst the toughness, I have found a wellspring of gratitude.

Romans 5:1-5 says “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

This passage has been a constant comfort and reminder of where the root of my joy should stem from. Paul writes that we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And also that we rejoice in suffering which produces perseverance, which produces character, which produces hope. And that hope does not disappoint us.

The Hope of the Glory of God. What does that even mean? How does God even get glory?

        God has been teaching me that He gets glory from people turning from the world, embracing His salvation, and living gospel-centered lives. Lives that deny self. Lives that seek first His Kingdom.  

2 Corinthians 3:18 describes this glory. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

        To be completely transparent, I have been struggling a lot with the financial aspect of moving to the Philippines. I have been granted peace in knowing that God intends for me to go. He has displayed His faithfulness in the little and big things over the past year in getting me to where I am today. But it seems like once summer hit, the anxiety immediately began to rise in my heart and no support has come in at all. Sometimes I feel like there are a thousand and one things I should be doing to try to raise support. Other times I am reminded that no matter what I do, I am helpless without the favor and hand of the Lord. It is a back-and-forth tug on my heart, and I know that Satan is at the root of my doubt.

        God has been gracious to remind me over and over through my study of Isaiah that HE will fulfill His promises, that HE is always with me.

“They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.” 
Isaiah 48:21

“Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are far from righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.” 
Isaiah 46:12-13

A verse that the Lord has used over the past few years in my life comes to mind. 

 “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:13-14

I am confident that on August 5 I will board a plane to move my few possessions and myself over to the Philippines. I am STILL confident that my God, who created the earth and everything in it, will stay true to Himself, in what He has revealed in my heart, and that He will get His glory—the glory in which we rest our hope!

I found this written in the back of my Bible from where I heard it sometime this past semester: 
“God is not going to call you to do something you can do on your own.”

I am beginning to learn this full well.

Please pray!

*Pray for financial support to come in. (Matthew 7:7-8)
*Pray that Satan be bound from God’s work through Newlife. May we who are entering in take up the shield of faith that we will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 
(Ephesians 6:16)
*Pray and ask the Lord how He would have you be involved in His plan of drawing all peoples to Himself. Whether it be in praying, financially supporting, going, mobilizing, or other ways, ask God to use you for the redemption of His people in the world.
*Pray for the people God has prepared for me and the other girls to meet and minister to. May people come to know salvation in Christ through the work we will be doing.
*Pray also for me that whenever I open my mouth, words may given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. (Ephesians 6:19)

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