January 19, 2017

2 Timothy 1:12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

I have always looked at this verse in terms of bearing up under physical persecution, which Paul was certainly doing. However, the Lord just showed me that it applies to any suffering that comes from the enemy. If we are under attack in any way because we are serving God, we should take it as a badge of honor. The thing is, we often fail to recognize attacks for what they are, ascribing our circumstances to any of a number of things with no spiritual connection. That can blind us to what we need to do. That is especially true when the attack is psychological. God created us as emotional beings, which is not a bad thing, but we have to be careful not to be deceived by our emotions. God is faithful regardless of how we feel about things. Like Paul, we need to be convinced that God is able to keep not only our souls but the fruit we have worked for safe until the day of Christ’s return.

This is a Word I’m very much in need of right now. At the prayer meeting last night I was praying about how I am emotionally exhausted from the quantity and variety of demands on me, and this is God’s answer. In the first place, I don’t have to be embarrassed about being tired; I am certainly as dependent on the grace of God as anyone else. In the second place, this really is an attack from the enemy, who doesn’t want to see God’s plans for me and for this church succeed. It’s been quite a few years now since God told me to rest, relax, and rejoice in Him, and He is allowing this as further training in doing exactly that. Last night I had word that one door I had been counting on had been closed, but with it came another possibility, and it was from an unexpected source. I need to acknowledge my own inability while resting and delighting in my Lord who can do all things.

Father, thank You for all You are allowing me to go through. Thank You for the phone call last night from the owner of the land next door. Cathy had said I needed to call him, and my reaction was to try to escape. Then, after prayer meeting we discovered a message from him on the answering machine, so I went ahead and called. This is the first time I have felt he genuinely would like to see things fall into place legally for us to be able to buy the land. That’s quite a change! Thank You. Thank You for the advice he gave me about what steps to take today toward that. Help me be faithful and diligent in following through, so that I will not be in the way of what You desire to do right here, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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