Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shining like stars even through the difficulties

Having been forced to deal with a child with special needs, often, I have reflected on how much  deeper my faith in Christ has grown because I have been forced to rely so much more heavily on God's strength and grace just to get through each and every day.  How often, when the going is easy, do we sail through life, forgetting that we are to rely on God's strength and grace in our daily lives?  I treasure this resulting "closeness" with God.

I Peter 1:3-9 has become special to me especially in light of the current ongoing deep trials our family has been battling:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
(1 Peter 1:3-9 ESV)

I pray that my faith would result in prayer, glory, and honor, and that no matter what, I keep praising the Lord.  Despite the ongoing inner and outer turmoil afflicting our family, we are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy because our souls belong to Christ our Savior!

Recognizing that no matter what state we find ourselves in, God calls us to shine as stars in the universe, we must do all things to point others around us to Christ!  Philippians 2: 13-16a says, "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.  Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life..."  So, if things are going well, we praise the Lord.  If we find ourselves in the midst of adversity, we endure and continue to praise the Lord.

Tim came across this video today and shared it with me about a family who has faced many trials particularly with their special needs son.  They have a beautiful testimony and such a strong faith in God.  Take some time and watch this video telling their story.  It will challenge the way you think about your own lives!  I know it was a challenge and a blessing to me!

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