Grace and faith in action
Last Wednesday at prayer meeting, Pastor Stu read a letter from Tony and Ina in which they shared some thoughts with the church family about the recent passing of Ina’s mother and the loss of Tony’s job. Because it’s difficult to catch everything in one hearing and because not everyone was there to hear it, I asked Tony if I could post that letter here (below).
It’s a great encouragement to our own faith when we see God’s grace at work in the lives of our brethren, sustaining and prospering their faith as they pass through various trials. God has helped Tony and Ina in wonderful ways to the glory of His grace. The perspectives expressed in this letter are a testimony to the help He is giving. May God’s grace at work in their lives encourage us all to “hope in His mercy.”
There are two things we would like to share with you as our church family:
First – we would like to thank you for the beautiful flowers you sent us at the lose of Ina’s mom and for all your words of encouragement, cards, expressions of love and prayers on our behalf. The Lord wonderfully answered your prayers in ways that Ina never anticipated. Once again the Lord showed Himself to be all wise and merciful. Two things that He taught and continues to teach Ina in the midst of her grief are: 1) That He truly does not give us more than we can bare, but makes a way to escape (1Cor.10:13). Her experience proved that her anticipation of that very difficult and dreaded event was worse than the actual experience of the event because God doesn’t provide the required grace until it is actually needed. He protected her heart in ways that she still does not fully understand and kept her mind from going past what is true. 2) He gave new meaning to the words in 1Thes 4:13, that we are not to grieve as those who have no hope. Although those words were written regarding loved ones who die in Christ, the Lord is showing her that if we belong to Christ it is impossible to grieve as those who have no hope, because Christ is our hope. Although we are not confident of the spiritual condition of her mom, we are confident that she heard the Gospel enough times in it’s clarity that the imperishable seed was sown and we will rest in our God, knowing that the issues of men’s souls belong to Him and our duty is to submit, which we gladly do. We are content in letting God be God in this as in every other situation.
Secondly – speaking of being content in letting God be God in every situation, Tony was informed yesterday afternoon that he no longer has a job. We are filled with joy and anticipation in seeing what God has for us in this new chapter of our lives. We have prayed that God would lead and direct in the investment of the rest our lives and consider this to be an answer to our prayers. Please pray with us for God’s very clear direction as to how He would have us to serve Him. By His grace, the desire of our hearts is expressed by the words of the apostle Paul, in Phil. 1:20-22, which summarized say, that Christ shall even now as always be exalted in my body; for to us to live is Christ; but if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and 3:12-14, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
We are trusting in our completely sovereign, infinitely wise and perfectly loving Heavenly Father who has committed Himself to our eternal good.
Ps.37:23The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. 24When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. 25 I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread. 26 All day long he is gracious and lends, and his descendants are a blessing.
Hab.3:17 Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.
Your brother & sister, by His grace
Tony and Ina