Claiming or Accepting II

After last weeks blog, I had a call telling us of a good friend who is very ill with cancer. My first reaction is, of course, to pray for her. I want God to heal her and I want Him to answer my prayer in the fastest and most positive way. I was tempted to demand, to “name it and claim it.” As the conversation continued and I was given more details of the illness, I heard a statement that changed all that!! The statement was, “She told her dad not to worry about her, as if this is what God has for her she has peace with that.”

I know this girl has a young family, she is much needed and has everything to live for. I know she would love to be healed and if God chooses to heal her physically (and I still pray to that end), she will give Him all the glory. Yet, she is accepting whatever He has for her and using her remaining time on earth concentrating on other things rather than wasting it worrying about what God is doing. That is exactly the point we rob ourselves of so much, if we continually beg or demand God for our will, instead of His Will.

David Watson, in his book “Fear No Evil” writes words he penned 48 hours before his death from cancer. He said that he wished he had spent the last months learning from his circumstances and learning a closeness to Jesus ‚Äì instead of asking God to change the circumstances. Maybe we need to learn from some of the situations God puts us in instead of naming and claiming the change.

I can hear you ask, What about His promises? He has given us so many in the Bible and they are ours to claim! I ask myself that question often as I look around at those who love God and follow him actively, yet are very poor and often don”t have enough to eat. Paul in the same chapter of Philippians 4 says, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am to be content‚Ķ I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. We all know Paul suffered immensely to bring the Gospel to Europe and to us. But he also writes in verse 19, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches.”

This is no contradiction even though it appears to be. Some of the most happy and satisfied people I have ever met are those who have very little of this world”s goods. God has supplied, first the acceptance and the peace and then the food to still the hunger. It is like the three friends of Daniel who were placed in the fiery furnace. They knew His Power and ability but were prepared that if He did not rescue them, they would still worship Him in His presence.

He will answer our prayers, He will fulfill His Promises, but it may be in a way other than what we think or would wish. Yes, we should pray and pray earnestly, but it should be according to His Will. Sometimes we know things that are His Will, like the salvation of those still unsaved, so we can continue to plead for their souls, but oftentimes we don't know what to pray for as we ought and need to let the Spirit 'present our prayers before the father'. I for one am glad He does that!

As a parent, it is always more pleasant and rewarding to give to a child who is thankful. Not that we give for that reason, but when we hear and see gratitude, we know our effort was worthwhile. As we thank God for what He has given us, for how He has cared for us, even for the difficult circumstances He has carried us through, then we give Him pleasure and glory and we gain peace, acceptance and assurance that He is in control.

Thanksgiving in the USA, a time to thank those we love for what they have done or do, a time to remember all that God has done and all He has given us, a time to accept with a loving heart His plans for us and be thankful we only have to know the last step and the next one. He knows the way that we take in between.  As we praise and worship Him, He reveals His plan and uses our experiences to help others find the way of acceptance and peace.


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