By Faith Alone

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him

  • Matthew 7:7-11

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

  • Ephesians 2:8-10

“The income today [Feb. 26, 1898], by the two first deliveries, was £7 15s. 11d.  Day by day our great trial of faith and patience continues, and thus it has been, more or less, now, for 21 months, yet, by Thy grace, we are sustained.”

  • George Müller, Answers to Prayer

Third day in a row for a confession?  Okay, recently, I realized that I had not done all I could do to keep the finances of the combined families of my wife and I and our son and his family afloat.

Since, by a technicality, our son was still a church member at our church and my wife and I, who are presently paying his bills, are active members, I asked our church for financial assistance.  I let the pastor see our entire portfolio of empty accounts and those that had very little in them.  I expressed a reluctance in asking, but the financial situation is dire at best, and if our son cannot keep going to work, we’ll all go under, regardless of what any church might do.

After a few weeks, I got a call from the pastor who said, “When you have an emergency, give us a call.”  I was dumbfounded.  I simply said, “Thank you.”  In other missives, he said something about only paying one bill directly, not giving us money to pay many bills, which had never been the case at the church before.  And they’d only pay one bill that was clearly due to the source of the problem.  But in my information that I gave him, we are being sunk by hundreds of small bills, not any one large one, other than the credit cards and those have a variety of charges, although one card had two charges for nearly $2,000 from the clinic where the therapy occurred, but I guess that didn’t count.

I am not angry at the church.  I am too honest, as the dishonest people beg the church and the church asks how many digits on the check do they want.  When I was a ruling elder, the idea of paying the bill directly was a great idea, but no one would support it.  Now, I was being treated as I had tried to treat others.  I will accept that and not get angry.

But I was angry at myself for even asking.  God was telling me that this was going to come from God, not man or a church.  And having read this book from Rev. George Müller, I now know why I am unworthy of the present help.  I don’t pray as much as Rev. George Müller.  I don’t read Scriptures as much as Rev. George Müller.  And my faith is like the faith that James speaks of, with doubts leading to double-minded thinking (James 1:6-8).

Don’t get me wrong.  Our salvation is by grace through faith and has nothing to do with what we do, and definitely has nothing to do with our worthiness.  But I have heard that faith is a muscle.  It needs to be exercised, and right now I feel the burn in that muscle from exercising without stretching first.

Regardless of how far we advance toward Jesus in our walk of faith, Satan will try to knock us down, and God will allow us to be tested.  That’s how that faith muscle grows.

And God has proven that he is helping.  I could do as Rev. George Müller does in his book.  I could give a ledger of when unexpected rebates have come in, three of them, each worth at least $100.  I have been asked to do a little contract work, very little, but more than I had been doing.  God is letting us know that He has this.

It’s just hard right now.  Our son is not helping, the who wants to stay home every day, feeling a bit off, without any sick days left, meaning not getting paid a full paycheck.  I’ve been there, where he is, but I always went to work, unless running a fever.  But he has rejected that work ethic.  If my wife were not there, I do not know if he would ever go to work.  He thinks that his medication is not strong enough, but others think he needs a swift kick in the pants.  I am not there, and I cannot judge – thus stating both sides.

My thought is that he had none of these problems before he was forced to take therapy.  The therapy, and the medications prescribed, based on the therapy, have created the problems.  More medications do not seem to be the answer, but continuing to visit the doctor to get an increase in medications makes more money for the doctor who prescribes the pills.  He’ll have a steady customer until we are all bankrupt.  Then again, I believe in God and not in a human therapist – so, what do I know?

That leaves me to go to my knees, figuratively and maybe even literally.  Maybe, I should do as David did when he emerged from the cave to face King Saul in 1 Samuel 24:8.  David prostrated himself, with his face to the ground.  King Saul, four chapters later, prostrated himself before Samuel.

But body position is meaningless if there is any sin not confessed and repented of, any doubts that God is in control, and any wavering of faith.  Then, we wait.  I have trouble with waiting, but right now, I am paying the bills.  The big decisions fall on me, just as Rev. George Müller had to pay the bills at the orphan-house.  And if Rev. George Müller can feed hundreds of children and keep them clothed and keep a roof over themselves by prayer, God can see my family through this ordeal.

As the sports star says, it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it matters how many times you get back up.

God is in control, and whining gets you nowhere.  Don’t worry.  God has this one, and prepare yourself; God has the next one too.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

7 Comments

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  1. Hang In there my friend. God definitely has this. Even when everything looks hopeless, he provides. Sometimes we feel we have to be in charge, but that’s when we need to surrender and let God do what only he can do. You

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We’re in a similar boat of being parents helping to keep two families afloat— I understand Mark yet not as desperately as you and your wife—- we’ve done far more than we should at our own detriment but it is because of those two grandkids —
    And we hit a big bump this weekend.

    And whereas ours now fuss and cuss life and work yet when we faced far worse, we never blinked an eye but simply rolled up our sleeves — not easy, not necessarily happy, but we did it— ours seem to want it all now and yet can barely make it from day to day, in part because our son’s dumb luck with jobs— he finally has a good job but they are frustrated feeling so far behind — and it didn’t help having babies back to back. If we don’t help— financially and physically— I fret what might happen—we try not to micromanage but that hindsight, that need to control and figure it out, is hard to ignore— just know I understand and wish I could help you while still helping my own burden of 4 — prayer is all I’ve got

    Liked by 1 person

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