Monday, October 05, 2009
Current Study: First Peter
Today’s Topic: God’s Glory Revealed
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV) Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
I love Facebook. I think it occupies way too much of some people’s time as they try to discover absolutely irrelevant and useless information about themselves by taking mindless tests, but as a networking tool to connect people it’s great. Connecting to people – that’s what life is all about.
I’ve been able to use Facebook to connect to some people I haven’t seen in years. They live in the Philippines. They are almost family. My dear friend and ministry partner Victorino Barlizo went home to be with the Lord years ago, and I was adopted as the stand in Papa for his daughters. I even got to walk one of the girls down the aisle for her wedding. Now they are all on Facebook, and I get to be a part of their lives and hear about all of my other “grandkids”. Between the four girls there are five little ones.
The latest one to be born is becoming a real testimony to the grace of God. In fact, her mother’s name is Grace. Little Darly was born last week with a serious heart murmur. She was diagnosed with a hole in her heart. I received this Facebook message from Grace’s sister:
Hello Papa John, how are you?
Lily Grace is now a new Mommy…She gave birth to a Baby Girl last night, at 10 in the evening. Baby Darly is her name…please pray for her and baby Darly, she has a hole in her heart. Grace will be discharged from the hospital tomorrow, but baby Darly will be hospitalized for awhile for medications. The Dr.’s told mama that she will be alright… Ate Vic also gave birth to a baby boy last sept. 12, 2009…you have already 5 adopted grandchildren back here in Davao City :)…we miss you so much…God bless We love you…from all of us here…your extended Family “the Barlizo’s”.
Of course we started to pray right away. As the messages kept coming in from the family, it was very evident that their faith was strong and their hope was in Christ. They were living the truth of Peter’s words and were rejoicing in the midst of suffering. Two days after the first message, I received this one:
Hello Papa John…we just arrive from Panabo and the Lord is very good and merciful…The Dr. visit Baby Darly this morning, Praise God! He is an answering God! There is an improvement – big improvement of Darly’s condition…the murmur the Dr. heard on Darly’s heart is getting lesser to 50%…and she even said the Darly is responding very well to the medication she is on right now…what a great God we are serving…He hears our prayer… Thank you for your prayers and love…bye… love you both…God bless and good night…
There is a divine principle at work here – the amount of rejoicing we do during times of suffering is directly responsible for the overflow of joy we experience when God’s glory is revealed. It’s a fact – complaining minimizes joy. Just check yourself on this. Don’t be surprised when you realize that the more you complain about tough times the less joy you experience when they are over. That’s because complaining quickly becomes entitlement, and those who feel entitled never overflow with joy when the end comes. Why should they? They believed they deserved it. It is those who know they are undeserving that experience the greatest joy.
Yesterday I received this update from Lily Joy, Grace’s sister:
Hello Papa John,
Praise the Lord for He is good and His mercies are everlasting!
Baby Darly is now out of the Nursery room and she is being taken care of by Roed (her father) and Lily Grace…He is truly a big and merciful God. The Dr. told Grace that the murmur that they heard from Baby Darly’s heart is now getting lesser and lesser, that’s why she is out from the nursery room…truly prayers really do big things in our lives…She is a great testimony at the Hospital… and Grace and Roed extended their thanks and love for you…God bless you and see you soon…
“She is a great testimony at the hospital.” Hallelujah! There is great joy when the glory of God is revealed. So stop complaining and start rejoicing. We all know times are tough, but God is greater than any of our troubles. Put your trust in Him – there is a time of abundant joy coming when His glory is revealed.