A Chinese Bible Woman shares the following situation that helped train her and her children in righteousness while her husband was in labor camp: One day I said to my children, “The Lord has told me that today I will go to prison for Him. Father is also in prison so please behave. Love each other and don’t forget to bring food for your mom!”
During that time there were so many prisoners that the government could not provide for all of them so family members provided their food. The children cried when they heard this. Daniel replied, “But mom, we have only five catties of rice left. How can we have rice and also send you some? When it’s all gone, we’ll die!” I told the children, “The Lord can turn nothing into something!” and I reminded them of the story of Elijah and the widow. They had a simple child-like faith and believed that God could provide for their need. So they concluded, “Even though our rice is not enough, we will cook for you too!”
After talking with the children, The Public Security Bureau police came to the door and arrested me. Daniel followed me to the prison to find out which cell I would be in. The younger two children knelt in prayer. As I was taken away, my heart was wrenched as I heard their little voices trailing off.
I was in prison on that occasion for thirty days. All the while Daniel faithfully sent rice for me. When I returned home I asked, “Is there any rice left?” Daniel’s response was, “Mom, our rice container is overflowing!” It really was. Those five catties had inexplicably grown to about forty catties and were literally overflowing the container. I said, “Praise the Lord! Now we can continue to cook for the other inmates and feed them as well.” The Lord’s grace is beyond measure.
“Think of Him now, at this moment – the great Angel of the Covenant, with the censer full of much incense, in which are placed your feeblest aspirations, your most burdened sighs – the odour-breathing cloud ascending with acceptance before the Father’s throne. The answer may tarry; – these your supplications may seem to be kept long on the wing, hovering around the mercy-seat. A gracious God sometimes sees it meet thus to test the faith and patience of His people. He delights to hear the music of their importunate pleadings – to see them undeterred by difficulties – unrepelled by apparent forgetfulness and neglect. But He will come at last; – the pent-up fountain of love and mercy will at length burst out; – the soothing accents will in His own good time be heard, “Be it unto thee according to thy word!”
– J.R. Macduff
“And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead*, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God… but was strong in faith, giving glory to God”
In the circumstances of life there are always obstacles and hindrances to the promises of God. Sickness, old age, finances, relationships, persecutions and a multitude of other things offer us reasons to excuse ourselves from our occupation of declaring Him to this generation.
The Greek translation of the above scripture literally states that Abraham fully considered his own body as being dead; yet in the face of this “he staggered not at the promise of God”. It is here that faith stands and takes us beyond our circumstances and abilities and keeps us active regardless of the situations in which we find ourselves. Many of our brothers and sisters at this moment are facing death, imprisonment, loneliness, health issues and untold hardships yet they are holding on to the promises of our faithful God. Shall we not do the same?
Whatever may be His promise to us, consider not the circumstance; consider God.
*Note: The KJV is saying the same thing but in a more difficult way to understand… “he considered not” means he did not let his “body being good as dead”, enter into his “accounting God” well able to fulfill the promise. Nor should we.
“Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God’ (Rom. 10:17). That is whence faith comes. It is not for me to sit down and wait for faith to come stealing over me with a strong sensation, but is for me to take God at His Word”
– Dwight Moody
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
– Luke 4:4
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”
Endurance is the secret to reaping. Endurance is the womb from which faithfulness springs. Faithfulness implies “being full of faith”. Faithfulness speaks of sowing in hope, believing God for the harvest to follow. It needs no seeing or evidence to continue steadfastly in the things at hand. It believes God, trusts God and rests in God knowing He is faithful. Our faithfulness is proportional to our trust in His faithfulness.
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully”
2 Corinthians 9:6
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him”