Aches and Praise Four Hundred & Forty Two

February 28, 2020
Dear friends,      

Thank you for your prayers for Karen over the past two months as she recovered from a bacterial corneal infection in her right eye. Her eye is looking much better. On Tuesday, I had a colonoscopy at the Montreal General Hospital and spent the next day resting at home. When I went back to the office yesterday, there was a message on the answering machine from Jean-Pierre, informing me that he no longer had the Bible that I gave him before Christmas. He phoned again yesterday afternoon and said that he would like to go back to the church where he trusted Christ as his personal Saviour many years ago. Please pray that the Lord would help Jean-Pierre to grow closer to Him.

One of the men that the Lord has used to encourage me recently is Dr. Charles Stanley, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia since 1971. In his book “Standing Strong,” he writes: “Friend, do not ever underestimate how important your obedience to God is for your life here and in eternity. The book of Esther gives us an amazing illustration of this.” He goes on to reveal that a wicked man named Haman should never have existed. King Saul did not obey God’s command to utterly destroy the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:2-9). Dr. Stanley writes: “Consider the ramifications. If Haman had succeeded in destroying the Jews, he would have cut off the family line of the promised Messiah. There would have been no Jesus, which would mean no salvation for any of us. So Saul’s seemingly insignificant act of disobedience would have had eternally detrimental consequences for all of humanity.”

Dr. Stanley continues: “Esther and her family were descended from a man named Shimei. And when you look back in the Old Testament, you find an intriguing story about him. You see, Shimei didn’t like King David at all … However, because of the incredible respect David had for the Lord, he decided to have mercy on Shimei (2 Samuel 16:5-12). Because of David’s wisdom and submission to God’s will, Shimei lived, and eventually his descendants Mordecai and Esther arose to save the people of Israel from the schemes of the evil Haman.” Dr. Stanley wisely observes: “We do not know what all our faithfulness to Him will mean in eternity, but we do know it is far greater than we can possibly imagine. Because we reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.” May all of God’s children be encouraged by the wonderful truths found in His Word and determine to be obedient to the One who loved us enough to send His only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.

Scripture for the weekend: “Perhaps the Lord will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day.” 2 Samuel 16:12 (NASB)

Thought for the weekend: “God’s ways are not our ways. His plans are always much grander, more far-reaching, and more profound than our own. We would not necessarily choose the challenges He allows in our lives, because they are out of our control and beyond our understanding.” – Dr. Charles Stanley (from his book “Standing Strong”)


By His grace,