“…In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” In John 16:33 (MEV) Jesus gave us both a command and a promise. It’s not an unexpected event to have trials and tribulations; it is a guaranteed fact of life. The test is how you deal with them when they come. When I (Amy) am going through hard times, my inclination all too often is to cry out, “God, Why ME?” The question should be, “Why NOT Me?” What’s the difference between a diamond and a lump of coal? Time and pressure–lots and lots of both.
In Romans 8:28 (NIV) we are told, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I’ve heard that verse so many times, and quoted it to others as well. But when you are deep in the midst of life’s storms and earthquakes, sometimes it’s hard not to just mouth the platitude rather than really taking hold and believing in it. I know intellectually that my God is BIG and in charge and I say that I trust Him for everything that happens in my life to make it all turn out well. Sometimes I need some nudging to embrace this heart-felt belief and take comfort in this simple, wonderful fact: God is God. He’s the one who decides it all and I don’t have to stress. So no matter what we’re going through, we can be comforted that our God is in charge. When we let Him lead us, we will see great and wonderful things! He has commanded us “be of good cheer,” and all throughout the Bible this is emphasized: “a merry heart makes good medicine” (Prov 17:22), “Shout for joy to the Lord…” (Ps 100:1, others), whistle while you work. OK, that last one was from Disney, but very appropriate, yes? When I am confronted with a difficult trial and it seems like I am stressed to the breaking point, often I just laugh.
Please be lifting our family up in prayer. We are being given the opportunity to practice what we preach; faith and trust in God’s leading and healing. My grandparents have been in and out of the hospital; Grandma with a stroke and complications, Grandpa with congenital heart failure. Dad (Nels) has been to the ER and now is preparing for heart surgery. Mom (Lorrie) and Nathan fell down a mountain while hiking. Nathan very kindly broke Mom’s fall so she only suffered aches, pains and bruises and Nathan broke his ankle and leg in three places and has had one of hopefully only two surgeries. We are determined to continue to walk in His promises and trust Him as we live our lives with good cheer!
The youth camps went well again this year with many young people getting saved and baptized. It is always exciting to see lives changed and God’s kingdom expanded. The Bible school will once again start next month. This year we are working in conjunction with another local college and offering some secular training. We believe this will help our students in “tent making” after they graduate from Bible school.
Thank you for your faithfulness to our family and to the work in the Philippines!
Amy for the Church family