Remember: Part 5

Give thanks to The Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done for you. Sing to Him! Yes, sing His praises. Tell everyone about His miracles. Lift up His Holy name!!! Think about the wonderful works He has done.
• Psalm 105

Two weeks ago I jotted down a quick list of things God has done for me over the years. Not all the things, just the more landmark moments.

The list could go on and on.

It’s amazing how much looking back encourages us in looking forward. The best indicator of God’s future faithfulness in our lives is His past faithfulness.

Indeed, when we stop to marvel at the Egyptians in our rearviews, the giants on our horizons don’t seem so large.

The psalmist commands us to give thanks and proclaim, to sing and make known, to tell and lift up. I don’t know about you, but often I hold back for fear of bragging or making others jealous.

But there is no bragging in boasting of God’s faithfulness. We are boasting in Christ, not in ourselves.

“As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died” (Galatians 6:14).

“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” (1 Corinthians 11:30).

Because in our weaknesses His glorious might is displayed.

There is nothing boast-worthy about not being able to afford a guitar, a ring, a honeymoon. Those stories are stories of weakness, vulnerability, frailty. There is nothing prideful about admitting you are financially powerless.

And that’s the point.

But our God is a God who provides. And if He has called you to a life of service to others you can bet He will supply each and every need you have along the way. All we need to do is keep our eyes on Him and run the race faithfully.

The author of Hebrews tells us this: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (12:1-2).

I’ve often described my job in ministry as being someone who stands at the sidelines as other people run. My job is to cheer others on, to encourage them, to celebrate them, to give them whatever they need in their races to run faster. I am the guy with the orange slices and water cups, standing and cheering: “What do you need? Keep running! What do you need? Keep running!”

What I may have missed in the analogy is that is what our Father is for us. That is what He has always been for me.

“What do you need? A guitar? Here. Keep running.”

“What do you need? An engagement ring? Here. Keep running.”

“What do you need? A honeymoon? Here. Keep running.”

Just “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which I have called you heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Keep running.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine took his son on a trip. An expensive trip. I have to admit I looked a little covetously at the pictures he would post. How I would love to treat my sons to a similar trip. But alas, that’s not what God has called me to.

Keep running.

We’ll have plenty of time in Eternity for trips, I told myself.

Hannah and I have been in a pretty hand-to-mouth season. I’m not complaining. But there are no discretionary funds available for such trips. And that’s okay.

A few nights later Hannah and I got a call from some friends. They had won a trip to Disney for a week. All expenses paid.

“We want to give this to you guys. It’s to Disney. For Christmas. All the Christmas stuff will be up and will be out. This will be the memory of a lifetime. And we don’t want you to say thanks. We want to be the ones to say it. Thank you for all you do for the Kingdom.”

I had a professor in Seminary who would say:

“You won’t get rich in ministry. If you do, you’re doing it wrong.”

“But it’s been my experience,” he would go on, “that when you are obedient, God takes care of the rest. And often, He gives you an extra piece of the pie too.”

Thank you Jesus for all our extra pieces of pie. We certainly don’t deserve it.

But we are certainly grateful.

1Comment
  • Allen Armstrong
    Posted at 08:12h, 02 November Reply

    I sit here looking at the beach, just finished my reading time and spending time trying to “be still and know He is God,” and reflecting on your remembering series and really have to say I appreciate your encouraging stories. I see you more as a quarterback, leading and pushing us to him at the goal line. Thank you for sharing

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