Trust an Unknown Future to a Known God

This year has been a long, challenging one and through it, all God has shown himself faithful over and over again.
Through caring West Cannon Baptist Church members who have blessed us in so many different ways
  financial gifts
  scholarship money for the kids to attend Northpointe Christian
  a car
  housing our family of 5 for two months
  especially ongoing prayers.

A couple of the biggest challenges for me personally have been 
not having a place to call our own.  The house we have been renting is awesome but there is something about knowing the place you are living could be sold any day. 
learning people's names.  Moving from a church that we had been connected with for years and knowing almost everyone to a church where we knew no one, not a single person, is a real challenge.  I have been so thankful for those who have greeted me and shared their names with me, even if I may have already met them.
growing in my understanding of a new ministry.  It is true that all church ministry needs to be God-glorifying, Jesus-centered, Holy Spirit-empowered, Bible-based and at the same time each ministry is done different ways in different places.  From learning about church procedures to gaining an understanding of why things are done the way they are done is a challenge.
Last week I spoke at Northpointe Christian's elementary chapel and I referred to the following Corrie Ten Boom quote:
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

What a great reminder!!!
God proves himself faithful to His people for His glory and our good.  

Even when it is a long time and not exactly how we planned it in our minds. 
These thoughts about life's challenges and God's goodness come from two very different yet similar situations.

We found a house!  Praise the Lord!!  

After 13 offers, we had an inspection today and the next step is the appraisal and finance stuff.  We have posted our house hunting journey/strategy several times now.  
This home is great and has many of the things we are looking for. 
One thing that is not ideal is its proximity to the church.  It is not far away but it is not as close as we were originally looking.  To find a place in our price range, we had to expand our search area.  

Understanding we cannot always have things the way we want is an obvious but difficult life lesson. 
As I have been thinking about our housing situation I am reminding of a story in The Gospel Comes With a House Key.  Rosaria Butterfield writes "Truth be told, Hank was not the neighbor we had prayerfully asked for when Eddie sold the house and moved her family to Wisconsin.  But we trust that Hank was the neighbor God has planned for us."
Wherever you are God has you there for a purpose.  As it relates to where you are living, one of those purposes is to glorify Him and helping others do the same. 

While this is going on in our lives, we have also been praying for a family from Emmanuel Baptist Church/Emmanuel Christian School.  Marc and Tabitha's 8-year-old daughter, Ryleigh, has brain cancer.  We are not there but it has been remarkable to watch, through social media, their journey through this valley.  I know it has not been easy for them but it is amazing to see how they have glorified God amid life.  They have shared about God's goodness no matter what happens.  Ryleigh has amazed the doctors, nurses, and others and I know Marc, Tabitha, and their family have been a great testimony.  
I also believe that on such a DEEPER, HARDER level they have been wrestling with the understanding that we cannot always have things the way we want is an obvious but difficult lesson.  


Challenging Prayer

 Sunday morning's Praying with Paul lesson is from Colossians 1:9 - 14.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Once again we read about ceaseless prayer.  This ceaseless prayer is in response to Epaphras' report of the Colossian's love in the Spirit for the saints and their faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul's prayer is that they would be controlled ("filled") by a deep, thorough, personal understanding of God and His will.  Paul was not praying that they would have a glimpse of God's future plan.  He was praying they would understand "the guidance of the Holy Spirit according to the proper interpretation of the Scriptures."

Spiritual knowledge leads to a life ("walk") lived in a way that pleases God in all respects.  This cannot be done in our own strength.  It can only be done in Christ.  Galatians 2:20 says "I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life  I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."  This God-given filling also results in fruitfulness, ongoing growth in knowledge, continuous strength from God himself, and joyous endurance of trials.

Paul's prayer for the Colossians ends with giving thanks to God who has empowered ("qualified")  them through Jesus Christ to share in eternal life and the promises of God ("inheritance").  What a great privilege it is to be rescued from sin and moved into a right relationship with God ("transferred to the kingdom") through God's son, who frees us ("redemption") which results in our sins being forgiven. 

John MacArthur's commentary on Colossians closes this section of scripture with the following quote.
So Christ's death on our behalf paid the price to redeem us.  On that basis, God forgave our sins, granted us an inheritance, delivered us from the power of darkness and made us subjects of Christ's kingdom.  Those wonderful truths should cause us to give thanks to God continually as did Paul in this prayer.