>God Owes Us No Explanation

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 A couple years ago I read a great book by Alistair Begg, The Hand of Godwhich seeks to demonstrate God’s sovereignty throughout the life of Joseph. 

The book tells the partial story of Dr. Helen Roseveare (photo) whohelen served in the Belgian Congo during the horrific uprising in the mid-1960s that resulted in dozens of missionaries being brutalized and murdered.
Roseveare was in the middle of all this chaos; saw friends shot and dropped into mass graves, and was a victim of brutalization beyond belief.

In a letter to Alistair Begg, Dr. Roseveare declared, “The phrase God gave me years ago, during the 1964 rebellion in the congo, in the night of my own greatest need, was this: ‘Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?'”

Ponder that for a while. How often have we heard, or said, “Well, I sure don’t get this, but I’m sure God will tell me why I’m going through this situation….”

The question Dr. Roseveare heard from God echoes in my heart, and I pray continues to bounce around my heart and mind…”Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?”

>God’s Timing Is Amazing

>So I’m wondering (whining?) about the eye injury, when I get the following from Ray Ortland’s blog:

“Let us not dictate to God. Many a blessing has been lost by Christians not believing it to be a blessing, because it did not come in the particular shape which they had conceived to be proper and right. To some the divine work is nothing, unless it assumes the form which their prejudice has selected.”

Jeremiah Lanphier, Alone With Jesus, page 88.

>Dirt Happens

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by Tom Holladay

“An empty stable stays clean, but no income comes from an empty stable.” Proverbs 14:4 (NLT)

Life is messy! As one teacher who must have grown up on a farm put it, “There is no milk without some manure.”

In other words, if you want a good return it will cost you something – you’ll have to feed the ox. It will not be easy – you’ll have to shovel some manure.
On our church staff, we call this the N.M. – N.M. principle. No Mess – No Ministry.
The goal of life is not to keep the stable clean!

Anytime you do anything, there will always be some difficulty attached. Nothing will go exactly as planned. It always takes longer than you expected.

God told Adam in the Garden of Eden that one of the results of sin in this world would be weeds – work that is always harder than it feels it “should be.”
The only way to escape the difficulty is to not do anything. I know some people whose stable is clean and well organized – because they’ve chased all of the oxen out! The barn may smell better, but the fields go year after year without a harvest.
So, while you’re shoveling manure today (and you will be!) remember that the messes are a part of a meaningful life. Remember that those who make an impact on this world are going to have some really tough days.

And keep on shoveling.

>The Fundamental Choice

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I can’t remember where I heard it, but I like it:

Every situation, every circumstance gives you fundamentally two choices:

whine or worship.

I am prone to whine/complain/grumble, though I know what the Word says about such expressions of lack-of-faith.

Here’s a sharper statement (using the word “murmuring” instead of whine/complain/grumble) from a couple centuries ago):

“Murmuring is no better than mutiny in the heart; it is a rising up against God. When the sea is rough and unquiet, it casts forth nothing but foam: when the heart is discontented, it casts forth the foam of anger, impatience, and sometimes little better than blasphemy. Murmuring is nothing else but the scum which boils off from a discontented heart.” Thomas Watson

Why am I prone to “murmur” and “complain”? Am I the only one?