This is something I just received from my sister and thought it was so good that I wanted to share it with all of you.
"Some things really spoke to me a few weekends ago when I was able to attend our church's women's retreat. Seems like lately we have all been bombarded with bad news and many trials and suffering of our friends and love ones.
In one of our talks, I felt like God was talking directly to me after what all we have gone through lately. It was on "Suffering".
As Christians we can count on suffering in our lives, God promises that to us. Suffering is not, in itself and essential good. BUT..... Suffering is ordained by God, and is intentionally used by Him (God) as an instrumental good. We can count on it so should be ready for it when it does come our way. We will suffer!
Suffering can sometimes be Gods designed and appointed means of judgment. Isaiah 10:5-19, Numbers 16:31-35, 41-50 Suffering can be used to call his wayward children back to him. Proverbs 3:12 Suffering can be an appointed means for the growth and strengthen of believers in Christ. Romans 5:3-5 Suffering can reveal human weakness so Gods glory may be on full display. 2 Corinthians 4:8-12 Suffering is simply a necessary and expected part of ones discipleship to Christ, in that it will prove and test our allegiance to, and hope in him ALONE! This is made to make you like Jesus! 2 Timothy 3:12
Nothing will EVER ever enter your life that is not for His glory or your ultimate good!!!!!!!!!!! Romans 8:28-29
Clinging to these truths gives me such HOPE in our trials and suffering times.
The Joy will come!!"
Thanks Ivey! Such wondeful words and what a great reminder!
When I think about the sovereignty of God I will always reflect on the summer of 09. He "works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will" It has been one of those summer's where God has been so prevalent in the good areas and the bad. The verse that keeps coming to my head over and over again is "His love endures forever." (Ps. 136) Yesterday was one of the hardest days I have ever experienced. It was a day of grief, love, grace, hope, and peace all thrown into one. I can't help but think about the Lord's sovereignty and how He has chosen to save his people from their sin and consequences if we decide to trust and follow Him. Isaiah 61:1 "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of the vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn." May I find the Lord's favor in this year even if I am so ready for 09 t be over. GOD IS GOOD. May I not just type it but truly BELIEVE it!
"Our God may drench us with grief, but He will refresh us with His mercy. Our Lord's love letters often come to us in black-edged envelopes. His wagons rumble, but they are loaded with benefits." As I have been reflecting and praying for the Rowe family today the Lord brought me this through my quiet time. If you have never read the devotional Streams in the Desert than you are missing out. My dear friend Courtney introduced it to me and it is wonderful. We have to remind ourselves that God is merciful even in the midst of grief. He is a good God and does love us.
It was a BIG week at the Rush household. On Monday night Barrett asked Jesus into his heart. Yeah, I know you are saying he is so young and this will be one of many but he was determined. We have been doing this devotional at night and it was about heaven. It stirred his little mind and he wanted to know how he could go to heaven one day. We told him whenever he has ready he could ask Jesus into his heart. He was ready. I am sure this will be one of many but you have to start somewhere. Later in the week JoAnne said, "Barrett I see Jesus in your eyes." and he said, "No you don't Jesus has a beard." I thought that was pretty precious. The house we have been staging has a swimming pool and we have enjoyed it so much. It has given us an opportunity to really work with Barrett on his swimming skills. He decided this week that he would take off on his own. Branton on the other hand decided to jump in on his own but not to swim to sink. It was pretty scary but luckily Dad was there to rescue him in slow motion.
Barrett is about to start K-4 at Arkansas Baptist. I can hardly believe the summer is almost over. Sunday night we went over to the Clinton's for dinner. Avery Clinton is going to be in Barrett's class and he is just thrilled. They play so good together. I also tried to introduce Susanne to the blog world. We worked on setting her up one so we will see.
Where do I begin... On Friday the 24th my sister's brother-n-law went missing. He was found on Thursday the 30th and sad to say he didn't survive. It was a tragedy to say the least. I wish I could share all the details but it is a mystery in and of itself. I got a phone call Thursday morning it was the voice of my sister wanting to be with her family so my mom and I loaded up the car and headed to Dallas. His wife and three daughters don't know what to think or much less how to approach another day. The Lord showed me so much through this weekend. Without Him we have no reason to live. I am so thankful that I know Him in a way that gives me hope. It gave me a new perspective on reaching and saving those that are so lost. It was a "Weary Weekend" because when others don't have the hope in heaven or in Jesus Christ where does their hope come from? I was so blessed to get to help my sister with her precious children and just be there for her. Isn't that what family is suppose to do?