Scripture tells us that those things we are given to endure are meant for our training in righteousness (Hebrews 12.1-11). That means that suffering and the Lord’s discipline and trials are given that we may be sanctified. Often, this is what we are witnessing with our lambs. To help us better understand sanctification in relation to the word, John MacArthur has highlighted 3 steps; Cognition, Conviction and Affection. The ministry of the word to the ladies you serve is the nourishment they need to thrive and survive. Pastor MacArthur has a deep love for the word of God and his understanding of its authority in our sanctification is inspirational.
At first glance you might think this title refers to those to whom counsel is given! Quite the opposite, actually. More often than not it is the person giving counsel who maintains they are the fool! Recognize any of these statements?
“I can’t help someone struggling with (fill in the blank), I’ve never experienced that problem”
“I’m sure there is someone better for this particular person/problem”
“I have no expertise in that area”
“I’m much more gifted at (fill in the blank)”
It is not unusual to feel inadequate in helping people with the problems they encounter. God’s intent in enlisting your assistance to others, however, is not your adequacy! If the person with the problem is in your life, serving them is your calling.
At the Desiring God blog, Jon Bloom highlights the common arguments people give regarding serving, then answers them with beautiful truth, of course; from God’s word.
Posting Johnny-Mac’s article and pondering the Desiring God blog reminded me of something….
My opinion, of which I have many, is that the most effective training you and I receive (which influences our service to others) is the counsel we ourselves have received. Brothers and sisters in Christ have gently redirected us to God’s truth. Scripture has been opened by the Holy Spirit in a new way and ministered to our broken spirit. Our minds have been renewed in our circumstances and our thoughts trained to look to Him instead of the troubles.
Have you ever noticed how God uses those things almost immediately in ministering to another?
I’ve linked this subheading to the first of the blog posts I wrote as I learned how to counsel others, but was instead convicted myself. I’ve linked the first day, simply follow ‘next post’ to read the subsequent 10 ‘sessions.’ The posts not titled as one of the 10 are inserted quotes from other authors that reiterated what the Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart.
How have you been ‘counseled’ in this life? What scripture verses did the Lord bring to your mind in a new way? What doctrines did you strongly believe before the trial? Which doctrines did you glean better understanding after? Was there a particular message preached that spoke to you? How did the time of your ‘counsel’ from the Lord affect the way you look at life now?
Perhaps start your own journal of the trials in your life and dissect them with the questions listed above. And then wait. Watch God use those lessons in the most amazing way; in a manner only He can do!
“How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” is a new hymn, written only recently by British singer and composer Stuart Townend. You may recognize his name as one of the author’s behind the popular Getty’s song, “In Christ Alone.” Stuart wrote this particular song with the intention of illustrating what it meant to the Father to give up His son. Click here to listen to the interview.
When I introduced Hym.nol.ogy, I mentioned that singing hymns is like repeating God’s own doctrines back to Him. Watch on the YouTube link as each phrase of this powerful hymn is substantiated by God’s own words.
Wish I’d Said That
“Grant me on earth what seems Thee best
Till death and Heav’n reveal the rest.”