But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.—1 Thessalonians 2:2
It is good for us to remember how strong He is—and how weak we are. I settled this issue a long time ago. I tell you I have talked to God more than I have talked to anyone else. I have reasoned more with God and had longer conferences with God than with anybody else.
And what did I tell Him? Among other things, I told Him, “Now, Lord, if I do the things I know I should do, and if I say what I know in my heart I should say, I will be in trouble with people and with groups—there is no other way!
“Not only will I be in trouble for taking my stand in faith and honesty, but I will certainly be in a situation where I will be seriously tempted of the devil!”
Then, after praying more and talking to the Lord, I have said, “Almighty Lord, I accept this with my eyes open! I know the facts and I know what may happen, but I accept it. I will not run. I will not hide. I will not crawl under a rug. I will dare to stand up and fight because I am on your side—and I know that when I am weak, then I am strong” I Talk Back to the Devil, 146.
“Lord, I’m convicted by Tozer’s statement that he has ‘talked to God more than I have talked to anyone else’ (and by my suspicion that in his case that was literally true!). Help me to talk with You more, and then to have the same commitment as Tozer toward doing what I know I should do, even if I get in trouble! Amen.”
Grow Up, Not Old – God Must Have Smiled By Sharon W. Betters, Executive Director, MARKINC Ministries
I was 18 years old and thought I was in love. My boyfriend was deployed to Germany and when he came home in December he wanted us to get married. I would return to Germany with him. I announced my plans to my father (I chose this moment carefully – my mother was away on a retreat). Instead of putting his foot down and telling me absolutely not, he calmly asked what I intended to do about my two year scholarship to Goldey Beacom Junior College. With confidence, I responded: “I will attend until December and then tell them I don’t need it any more.”
Daddy smiled his little smile and said, “Sharon, when you applied for and won this scholarship, your acceptance of it implies that you plan to graduate. If now you do not plan to graduate, you are lying to the National Secretary’s Association. They gave you the scholarship because they believe in your integrity, not just your skills. You don’t just lie with words, you lie with behavior. If you don’t plan to graduate, you need to give it back to them so they can give it someone else.” Then he told me about how he and my mother eloped (during World War II and everyone knew they were eloping) and how being a military couple affected their lives. One thing led to another and soon Daddy was talking about how severe financial problems forced him to move us to Newark, Delaware. He said, “You know, at the time, everything looked like a disaster. But if we had not moved here, we wouldn’t have found the church and you kids might not have met Jesus….in other words, God had a plan for us. He always has a plan.”
The next week, I announced to my parents I wasn’t getting married and moving to Germany. The romance was over. I attended Goldey Beacom as planned. That following December, the month I would have been married (at 18 years of age) I met my future husband, Chuck, the last night I was waitressing at a local restaurant.
Tell the Next Generation
God always has a plan. The older I grow, the more I see how God uses disappointments and hard places in life – He’s not surprised by any of them. In the middle of the hard places God sends treasures, to turn our hearts toward Him, to remind us that He knows us and calls us by name (Isaiah 45:2-3).