Thank you for your prayers and notes. Although I’ve been absent, I’m feeling better. Hopefully I’ll soon answer all my emails. I’ve been able to talk with Lee regularly, and that’s helpful. Most important, I’ve been able to sit down and spend time in God’s Word. I haven’t caught up in the chronological Bible reading, but I have been reading in Philippians and Psalms. Here’s what I’ve been reading and how God is using it to change me.
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:6-11
I love the reminder that the fruits of righteousness are through Jesus Christ. I love Paul’s prayer for both knowledge and discernment. I like the recognition that it’s not enough just to know; we must also approve what is excellent. It’s easy to rest in knowledge God has given us without the sometimes messy business of acting on that knowledge. And finally, our purpose is the glory and praise of God, not so that we are recognized as being good Christians, or that we live trouble and trial free. These are all encouraging things for me to remember.
And Psalm 4:
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood? Selah
But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The LORD will hear when I call to Him.
Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the LORD.
There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
I love the phrase, “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.” This has been encouraging to me. I must do right, and trust that God is working even if I don’t know what he’s doing. I need this truth as I wonder what God is doing in my children’s lives, through Lee’s deployment, and even through fundamentalism and Christianity as a whole.