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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rejoicing in Suffering

I am reading through Acts in my quiet time. If you don't know it’s the story of how the early church got started. It takes place right after Christ died and Luke, the author, tells about how the Holy Spirit used the 12 disciples to spread Christianity from 12 people to thousands of people. Last night I was reading about Peter and John and how much trouble they were getting in for doing miracles and preaching in the name of Christ. In Acts 5 it says, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” (Acts 5:41) It was just outstanding to me. They were actually glad because they got the privilege of suffering for Christ. 
Acts also tells how all the apostles gave up everything they had and completely depended on God for all their provisions. They sold all their belongings and gave everything they could to people who were in need, and God provided for them. God called on other people to sell parts of their property and give the money to the apostles so they could live and use that money to help others and spread the word of God. If those people who God called to sell their property had said no and were not obedient the ministry that the apostles were running would have been greatly affected and the word of God might not have spread to other nations. 
It’s so humbling to remember that everything I have in this life is not for my sake. I don’t have a great marriage and a wonderful husband and a loving mom and plenty of clothes and food so that I can just sit on my butt happy as can be. I have all these things so that through them and with them, I can make much of God. God gives me food to sustain me to do his work. He gives me plenty so that I might share what I have with those who do not and in doing so, be a witness and testimony to God’s greatness. We are not going through this journey so we can have a successful, safe, and good life at the end of it. Everything we are going through right now is a moment to make much of God. 
My life right now, this hard and uncertain time is not so that Crockett and I will grow closer together or that I would learn to appreciate my husband. Right now Crockett and I are going through boot camp and all the trials that go with it to make much of God.
So my prayer is that God would use this time and this opportunity to use us to make much of him. I'm asking that he would use Crockett greatly in his company and that he would be a witness to Zulu 186 and all the people he comes into contact with. I'm asking that God would sustain Crockett through boot camp, not so that at the end he could boast in himself, but so that he could proclaim to the world what a mighty God he has and how God sustained him through these difficult days. I'm asking that Crockett would find favor with his CCs not so that he could have pride in himself, but so that others would see and hear that Crockett Thompson is doing so amazing because he has God on his side. I'm praying that others would see the way he talks and acts and would see Christ reflected in him, that when he boasts of his accomplishments it would be only to boast in Christ. I'm praying that during the trials and the hardest days others would see him struggling and want to know more about the peace he has within. I pray that God would use Crockett in the Coast Guard to be a witness to all he meets. 
I also pray that he would use me greatly too. That in this time of waiting and trusting I would be so tightly clung to Christ that when people look at me it is impossible for them not to see Christ holding me up. I'm praying that during this time when people ask me how Crockett or I are doing that my words would boast of the greatness of God and that in this time of uncertainty and through the many days without contact there would be a peace in both of our hearts and Crockett & I would learn to trust in God’s unfailing love and plan for both of our lives together and individually.

Would you join me in praying for these things?

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