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4:22 p.m. My 3.Week 6
Where There’s a Praying Mother, There’s Always Hope - Tony Reinke posts encouraging thoughts from J.C. Ryle over on the Desiring God blog
Are You Happy? - Nancy Wilson pairs some key verses on happiness with insightful application
Free Trusting God audio book - In case you haven’t seen this already, make sure to download one of our favorite books
We are counting down in days now, instead of months and weeks. Eight days until the US Embassy in Ethiopia has completed their paperwork and interviews and God-willing, gives us the all-clear to travel and get our children. Eleven days until we (hopefully!) get on a plane, thirteen or so days until the final step—an interview at the Embassy, and fifteen days until we get our children’s visas and fly home. All very subject to delays of course so we would greatly appreciate your prayers that all would proceed smoothly and speedily.
Right now my house is turned upside down redecorating the kids rooms and Jack and Tori talk daily about what they will play or share with their new brother and sister. There’s not much more to tell actually. Isn’t that the way with waiting? It is the uneventfulness that makes it hard. Our agency warned us this would be the most difficult part of the wait and they were right. Knowing our children, having held them in our arms, being their legal parents but having to leave them behind is excruciating. But just as the day and hour of our biological children’s birth was ordained by God, I know that the day when our family will be complete is entirely in His wise, powerful, loving hands. We’ll just be so excited when it gets here.
Thank you for all your prayers.
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:8-9
How do we practice hospitality cheerfully instead of begrudgingly? We remember the why: We practice hospitality because we have first received hospitality.
“Grace is the hospitality of God to welcome sinners not because of their goodness but because of his glory,” explains John Piper:
“The ultimate act of hospitality was when Jesus Christ died for sinners to make everyone who believes a member of the household of God. We are no longer strangers and sojourners. We have come home to God. Everybody who trusts in Jesus finds a home in God.”
If we have trusted in Jesus, we have found a home in God. We were once strangers, alienated from God because of our sin. But through the suffering of Jesus Christ, we have been brought near to God. We are not strangers anymore.
We have received the ultimate act of hospitality! How can we not, in turn, show grace and love to others by extending hospitality to strangers?
When we truly understand the gospel, the amazing, undeserved love that has been shown to us, we will find a powerful incentive to show hospitality that will conquer every hindrance or reluctance. Reflecting upon Christ’s lavish hospitality will compel us to joyfully show hospitality to one another.
~from the archives
“Our times are in God’s hands; it is well they are so. Believers are not to expect great wealth, long life, or to be free from trials. But all will be ordered for the best. And remark from Job’s history, that steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little exercise for faith when all things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot trace him, this is the patience of the saints. Blessed Saviour! how sweet it is to look unto thee, the Author and Finisher of faith, in such moments!” ~Matthew Henry
In difficulty, my first question is often “Why?” I can be tempted to demand an answer from God. Sometimes He makes his purposes clear; but God is not obligated, nor does He always tell us why.
But there is another question He will always answer, as JI Packer asserts in his book: Praying the Lord’s Prayer:
“If you ask, ‘Why is this or that happening?’ no light may come, for ‘the secret things belong to the Lord our God’ (Deuteronomy 29:29); but if you ask, ‘How am I to serve and glorify God here and now, where I am?’ there will always be an answer.”
Our Father in heaven will show us how to glorify Him, if we simply ask, ready to obey. So which question are you asking today?
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
~from the archives