Skip to main content

How God Equips You to Serve

I thought this chapter in Dear Sister was so appropriate for the "Experiences" section of SHAPE that I wanted to take some notes here for future reference:

. . .I would like to explain a little why God leads us through times of waiting for answers to our prayers, testing of our faith and struggles from within and around us.

It's for our personal growth as Christians. If God would fulfill our prayers and expectations and give us a smooth life without any adversities, we would forever remain weak, immature Christians. As much as physical exercise is vital for a small child to learn how to sit, stand, and walk, we as believers need spiritual exercise to develop in our Christian lives.

The more we are forced by circumstances to learn to trust God and overcome adversities, the more our faith grows and the more Christlike we become.

(She encourages reading the story of Joseph from Genesis 37 on - how cool that I will studying this with Kim, Rachel, and Lisa in July!)

. . .count how many struggles he faces. He was misunderstood and hated by his brothers, thrown in a well, sold as a slave to Egypt, separated from his family, lived as a Hebrew among idol worshippers, falsely accused, imprisoned for many years and forgotten by the royal official who could have helped him get out.

. . .I am certain there were hundreds of smaller [struggles] Joseph faced daily in his heart . . .wondering if his father, mother, and brothers are still alive and if they ever found out the real reason for his disappearance . . .wondering why God had not rescued him , answered his prayers or fulfilled the dreams.

God used each of these obstacles in Joseph's life to help him grow not only in his faith, endurance, and ability to cling to God, but also in his character. Joseph became a man of integrity, faithfulness, forgiveness, obedience, and patience. He learned courage to stand alone, serving and caring for others --instead of wallowing in self-pity--waiting for God's timing.

It's also for equipping us to serve others who face similar circumstances. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 1:3-7:

. . .the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the same comfort which which we ourselves are comforted by God. . .(I didn't quote the whole passage).

This Scripture says that God doesn't leave His children alone in their struggles. He has already prepared someone who faced a similar trial to understand, encourage, comfort, and strengthen us. . .

Even if you find no one else who faces the struggles you go through, you will always have Jesus. He faced all our temptations (Hebrews 4:15), and He bore all our sorrows and afflictions at the cross (Isaiah 53:4-6). His comfort is perfect and His grace sufficient in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

As believers, our ministry in the Body of Christ expands with ever victory we win in our battles. Through trials, testing, struggles and adversities are things we would rather avoid --and often complain about--they are the very things that cause us to grow, overcome, and become useful in serving God.

(Dear Sister, p.136-138)
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Snapfish versus Shutterfly

I dealt with both this week. So, while it is fresh in my mind, I am doing a comparison for ordering prints. Wish I could do it in table form, but I am simply not savvy enough or maybe I am just lazy.



1) CUSTOM CROPS - I have gone all over the Internet looking for people who say this is an advantage. To me, that is huge if I have cropped a photo with an other than 4x6 size in my photo editing software and then I try to print them. BOTH Snapfish and Shutterfly print these photos with cut off heads and portions gone and both don't seem to have a mechanism for telling me that the whole image isn't going to be in the print. (Also, both tend to cut off heads and such for prints from my point and shoot too. I think it is because it is from a different aspect ratio). 

BOTH need to notify you to say that things are not going to fit in the frame, but Shutterfly gives you something to do about it with their custom crop tool! I also LOVE that you can make a custom border aroun…

8. Prayer: The Mightiest Force in the World by Frank C. Laubach

In keeping with my prayer emphasis for 2014, here is another gem of a book on prayer written by the same person who wrote The Game with Minutes that I reviewed in January, Frank Laubach. 

It was such a challenge to caste my prayer for world leaders (which was one of my applications from the Prayer Challenge that I am doing from Super Bowl Sunday to Easter). I had a half day in prayer last Friday; and because of this book's reminders, I prayed for the president of Ukraine to step down. Within hours, he fled the country. Now I have to really get on my knees for Putin because he might mess the whole thing up by sending military there. Oh my.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, I am cutting and pasting one person's reflections and quotes from the book:

One of Laubach's most important suggestions in this terrific little book is that we pray during the "chinks" that happen in all of our schedules: while stuck in traffic, doing mindless chores, standing in lines, and so on. …

1. The Game with Minutes by Frank C. Laubach

This is really more a short essay, but it is profound and important. It is one of the best things I have ever read and applying it will change your life. 

This is a reread for me as I have paired it with my reading of Letters by a Modern Mysticby Laubach in the past, but it is good all on its own, and we have our Kingdom training groups read it every time we do this curriculum, and people usually really like it! We pair it with reading The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence which I have read on a regular basis over the last 35 years. Laubach was like a modern day Brother Lawrence, but practicing God's presence in the midst of real life rather than in a monastery. 

Here is a PDF download:  of "The Game with Minutes"
(the link I had before was not the whole thing)

Here is also a PDF of Letters by a Modern Mystic:

Here is a helpful summary of it by Dallas Willar…