This past week, I began a new Bible study/devotional book. It is a study on the Book of Philippians that goes in depth concerning experiencing the peace of God (Experiencing God’s Peace by Elizabeth George). As I read my portion of Scripture this morning, and read the study that went with it, the Lord graciously gave me something I am (and have been) in desperate need of right now, and I thought that, by His grace, I would share it with you! J
The title of the chapter was “Giving Thanks for Others” and the Scripture that went with it was Philippians 1:3-8.
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”
Usually, and often over the past week or so, I apply verse 6 to my life in a personal way; how God will never give up on me. And I did so again this morning—and I encourage you to do the same! God will never give up on you, dear sister, even if you feel like you are so ready to give up on Him!!
I’ve been there.
Am there. L
So let’s claim this promise together!!!!! JJJ
But! As I lay there on my bed, Bible open, it was as though God whispered, “This applies to your siblings, too.”
*tires skid noisily to a halt*
(Let that baby sink in!!!!!)
Often, it is extremely easy to become distraught over the misbehavior of your (my!!) younger siblings!L It is very discouraging and can very easily weigh down on ones soul. It (or they!!J) can be and is very frustrating.
Sure some of you big sissy’s out there struggle with this as well, day in and day out. It is hard as a big sister to watch your sibling react to a problem, or worse yet authority, in a way you and even they know is not how Jesus would have them respond. It’s grating on your very soul to hear their constant bickering and arguing. It drives you up the wall to hear them complaining about having to do simple chores, when it seems you have a boatload of responsibilities!
But the Lord showed me through this verse that even though it may seem hopeless at times, even though it may seem like a fruitless endeavor to try to encourage them, admonish them in Godliness—it’s not a waste, because…
…He’s in control!!! He’s still working on them!
… He’s got a handle on the situation!!
No, not the handle, He’s got the lid on the situation—forget the lid—He’s got the whole pot!!! It’s simmering on His stove! According to His timetable (yes, I can imagine some of you cringing on that one… lol… I can too). You know the saying “a watched pot never boils”? That’s the way it is with me and my siblings and their walk with Jesus… that’s the way it is with you and your siblings and their walk with Jesus (and after, all, it is pretty unfair to expect them to be as mature or know as much as we are and do… preaching to the choir here!! J) In fact, this applies to us personally as well!!! Jesus is cooking all the bitterness and unpleasant taste out of our siblings (and us as well) so that He can present the world, His Church, and ultimately, His Father with “savory meat, such as He loveth”. (Genesis 27:4)
But remember: The amount of “cooking time” He knows we need to make us a delight doesn’t necessarily coincide with ours! *Sigh* J
Also, this devotion stated that God, the Author and Finisher, saw the people whom Paul loved and longed for as they would be one day in Christ and through His hand of Providence in their lives… not necessarily the unfinished state they were in right then. And that is how Paul also chose to see them and think of them—and that is how we, as set-apart, Princess Warriors, and Big Sisters, need to think of our siblings. We need to see them in the light of who they will be one day through Christ. What they will become through His hand at work in their lives (as they simmer on the heavenly Stove… can anyone else see Jesus in the kitchen with an apron on?? JJJ). But that is how we need to think of them and view them. We should also love them according to who they will one day be in Christ, when He has finished that awesome work that He has begun in your and my little brothers and sisters! We shouldn’t think of and define them by their current argumentativeness, disobedience, disrespect and other things that may pop up rather more than we would like! Lol
I exhort you today, dear sister, to ask the Lord to help you view your siblings in the light of who they will be in and through Him! Also, to remind yourself, next time they pester you, disobey mom and dad, or argue to the point of driving you up the wall—He which has begun a good work in them, will (continue) to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ!!! Until they are complete in Him!!!! And if any of you have unsaved younger brothers and sisters, pray and ask the Lord to simply begin that work in them!! Let us claim and rest upon this promise together!!
(All Photos taken by and used with permission by Miss Rachel Melton )