Missions Update

Shalom,

I wish I could have waved a magic wand over his life or sprinkled pixie dust on his head to turn his tears into rivers of joy. But my reply to a poorly spelled message from a struggling believer from another region of the world could not make his problems go away. Painful questions from hurting people are common when I open my mail in this fallen world. If you are struggling, perhaps this message will provide words on which you might reflect. And I hope you will join me in prayer for the sender.

The name is changed, but the question asked in broken English is as follows:

Randy,
Thanks for your special concerned message that you have sent to me. I have a question to you that is I always struggle in my life. Many times I fell to exhausted my life when I wandering with my faith in God in the present world's disaster.

What kinds of method I need to overcome my problem in life that I struggling?
Could you answer me in this regard.
May God bless you.
Trang

I prayed earnestly for Trang and responded below:

Hello Trang,
Life is short and full of blisters. That is my interpretation of Job 14:1. "Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble." Like Job, we are tested. Like Job, we become weary. Like Job, we must learn to trust God at the deepest level of our being. Because with Job, if we know the grace of God, we will declare, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (Job 13:15a). God is real!

The promise to you Trang, spoken by the Hebrew prophet Isaiah is "they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isa. 40:31).

The promise from the Spirit of Grace is that as you are "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1st Peter 5:7). As often as you pray–He hears!

The context of that promise relates to strong believers, weak believers, leaders, and faithful followers of our Messiah. The Apostle Peter reminded us that when Jesus returns, we will receive a crown of glory that will never fade away. Your temporary struggles will disappear and your eternal blessings await.

We need each other for encouragement in times of weakness, counsel in times of doubt, and warning in times of danger. If you are weak, draw near to the Lord. He is strongest in your weakness. If you are wrestling with doubt, pursue the solitude of prayer, the wisdom that comes from personal Bible study, and the fellowship of the saints to help you rejoice in the goodness of the Lord. As you reflect on His goodness, worship Him. If you are struggling, worship more. This is the sacrifice of praise that will lift you above your struggle.

Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. The Lord is able to lift your head and renew your heart. If you are under an attack of the enemy, do not think it odd or uncommon. "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you" (1st Peter 4:12). Resist your adversary and move ever closer to your Redeemer wherein you will find safety. Your test will not go on forever. Regardless of how it feels, your test will come to an end, your faith will strengthened, and you will inherit eternal victory.

These are probably not the words you hoped to hear, but these are the words I want to share with you precious brother. "The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator" (1st Peter 4:17-19). In other words, we are being purified. The purification process is not fun, but it is necessary and good. It is for the perfecting of the saints and I believe that you are a saint. Let your words be seasoned with grace as you speak with those who are experiencing their own struggles. Point them to the lover of their soul.

Meditate on the words of Peter:
"When the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away . . . be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (1st Peter 5:4-11).

You are probably familiar with the famous messianic text read by Jesus when he visited the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth. Jesus turned to Isaiah and declared, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4:18-19). But then instead of finishing the sentence, He just stopped in the middle and abruptly closed the book.

The conclusion of that sentence in Isaiah left unspoken by Jesus proclaimed that a future time of judgment was to come. A day of vengeance is ahead. But God has also promised to comfort those who mourn. God offers faithful believers a chance to make an exchange. If we bring Him our mourning, He will give us comfort. We can bring Him the ashes of a burned-out life and He will give us "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" (Isaiah 61:3). Brother Trang, commit yourself to praise the Lord . As you do, God will be glorified and you will become a tree of righteousness planted of the LORD.

I hope we can all pray for Trang. And I pray we can all meditate on the Scriptures quoted above. God's Word is life-changing!

Until next time, have a blessed day in the Messiah!
Shalom,

Randy Weiss, Ph.D.