Wisdom for Wives

"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks …"

Hide-the-Word Wednesday: Pressing Forward

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my newfound respect for Nehemiah of the Old Testament. He was bold, prayerful, and even a little crazy (can I say that?) in his pursuit of righteousness. But someone I’ve always loved from the Bible—or at least since I started reading it—is the apostle Paul.  Maybe it’s because he, like I, started out being religious, only to be overwhelmed by the discovery that God’s grace made him righteous (and not his works). Anyway, Paul had plenty of reason to hide, or hide from, his past. He had been, to put it bluntly, a murderer. And when he wasn’t the one killing Christ’s followers, Paul was pursuing them, beating them, or encouraging others to murder them.  If anyone should be considered disqualified from service to the Lord, it was Paul.  But one of the things I admire about Paul is that he didn’t have any problem telling people what a bad guy he had been before God got a hold of him. That wretched past was part of his testimony.  And because of what he had done, Paul knew as well as anyone possibly can that there is no evil that is deeper than the depth of God’s grace.  So rather than focus on his past failures, Paul looked forward, to Jesus.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

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Do you ever feel unqualified to serve God? What truths from Scripture set you straight?

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Hide-the-Word Wednesday: Who Needs Grace?

Several years ago, I suffered from excruciating sinus headaches. The feeling, as I described it then, was like a screwdriver drilling into my ear canals. During one bout of headaches, I remembered that there is a passage in the Bible about Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” I searched for the passage to find out how the situation was resolved.

~~Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:8-9a)~~

To be honest, I was disappointed by this “resolution.” I didn’t want grace! I wanted the headaches to go away!!  What I didn’t really understand at the time, but am learning more and more, is that God’s purposes in our suffering (in Paul’s case, to keep him from exalting himself) are often different from ours (usually, for the suffering to end). Not that we shouldn’t pray for that (Jesus did on the night before His crucifixion) or confront someone who has hurt us (see Matthew 18:15). If it’s a financial trial, it doesn’t necessarily mean we shouldn’t do anything to improve our situation.  It’s just that God’s blessings are even richer than healed headaches and fixed finances. So rich, that it’s possible to have joy while we hope or wait for those things.

 

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:10 (NASB)

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Has the Bible ever taught you something you didn’t want to know? 🙂

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Hide-the-Word Wednesday: In the Same Storm

Every homeschool day, the kids and I read a short Bible passage together.  These days we’re in the book of Acts, and we’ve just gotten through Paul’s harrowing journey on a ship from Crete bound for Italy.  After being tossed by the tempest, and seeing “neither sun nor stars” for many days, the crew and passengers had given up hope of surviving (Acts 27:20).  In the midst of this, Paul stood before the men and urged them to take heart (vv. 21-22)!  It really struck me that Paul could encourage his fellow travelers, even though he was going through the same storm as they were.

How was he able to do that?

Because Paul had heard from God, and he knew that the situation would work out in their favor (vv. 23-25).

Isn’t that true for me, too?  Have I not heard from God?  I know that whatever my family may go through—financial, marital, medical, anything and everything—will work out for our good (Romans 8:28).  So I can be an encouragement, even as we go through the same storm.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  2 Cor 1:3-4

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What has God shown you in the Word lately?

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