This is a review week.

Review 

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:12-13 

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58 

"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die."

John 11:25-26 

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 9:9-10 

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 15:7 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17  

I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me. 14The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

Psalm 118:13-14 

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 16:32 

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! 14Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

Psalm 27:13-14 

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

James 1:22-24 

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Revelation 2:10 

For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

Proverbs 26:20 

..."Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."

Jeremiah 9:23-24 

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

Psalm 139:15-16 

Who Knows? (Ps 139:15-16)

| Jun 15, 2019

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My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them. –Psalm 139:15-16

I have had the joy and privilege of working with children and families for more than 20 years in three different countries. In late 2017, I wrote on this very blog about how God works through our sufferings, even when it’s hard. But in January 2018, a child asked me a question about suffering that I never wanted to answer.

It was a hot day outside a hospital in Sydney, Australia. Our family had traveled to Australia as part of our home assignment. During our visit, my third child, Benjamin, had suffered from an unexplained illness for a few weeks. This had delayed our return to the US and then to our home in Costa Rica where we were serving as missionaries.

Earlier that week, my wife and I sat in a conference room in the pediatric intensive care unit and had received the devastating news that our three-year-old son had cancer. As the week progressed, we learned how aggressive the cancer was, and the difficult and treacherous road ahead as Benjamin started treatment.

With all of that swirling around my head, I was walking my other three children to the hospital.

The silence was interrupted by a question from my eldest son, Sam, “Daddy, is Benny going to die?”

I was paralyzed for a moment – What should I say? What could I say?

My 7 year-old son, with his 5 year-old sister listening (along with their 7 month-old little sister!), had just put his finger on the stakes. They knew cancer was serious. They knew their brother was in danger. They wanted to know what would happen.

In that moment of paralysis, the Spirit gave me the verses that make up this week’s Fighter Verse. I looked into my son’s eyes, my voice cracking, and said through tears, “We don’t know, Sammy. But what we do know is that God has numbered his days before Benny was even born and we can trust Him.”

Through the dark valleys of treatment that followed, that truth sustained our family. The God who knew Benjamin before he was born, knew exactly how many days he would live. And as we saw glimmers of hope that the treatment was working, that truth continued to be our north star. Our confidence was not in great doctors, effective medicine, or even a brave three-year-old little boy. Our confidence was in the goodness of the God of the universe who not only had numbered Benjamin’s days, He numbered the days of His one and only Son to defeat sin and offer us new life.

In His kindness, the Lord chose to heal Benjamin. The disease and treatment has left a lasting mark on all six members of our family. And even though monitoring and recovery is ongoing, we are so thankful that our sick little three-year-old is a strong little four-year-old who will take every opportunity to point out that his FIFTH birthday is just around the corner (July 21, in case you were wondering)!

One result of a little boy walking so close to death’s door, and made conscious of the prayers of God’s people and God’s healing hand in his life, is that we can no longer use the phrase “who knows?” to express things we don’t understand. No matter where he is, or what he’s doing at the time, Benji is quick to remind us that “God knows!” whenever we ask that rhetorical question!

As you memorize and pray over these verses, I pray that God plants them deep in your soul. That Benji’s voice will ring in your ears as you encourage those walking through dark valleys of suffering.

Those who trust God don’t have a promise of an easy life. When we encounter a life-threatening illness, we have no guarantee of healing. But we do face all of life’s challenges knowing that the One who knew us before we were born is the One who will sustain us for all the days He has planned. No more, no less.

__________________

QUESTIONS:

  1. How does the truth that God has planned all your days encourage you today?
  2. Who in your life might you encourage with this truth today? How?
  3. How could this truth shape your prayers and how you love your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors?

Peter Morris serves as a missionary with ReachGlobal focused on family discipleship and multicultural church planting. For three years, Peter and his family served in San José, Costa Rica and have served from Sydney, Australia since 2018. Peter grew up and completed college in Australia but lived in the United States from 2001-2015 where he completed his Masters degree and met his wife, Melanie. From 2007-2015, Peter served as the Family Ministries Director at Ambassador Bible Church, near Washington DC. He and Melanie have four young children: Samuel, Madeleine, Benjamin, and Alexandra.

Truth78 (formerly Children Desiring God) publishes curriculum, devotional books (especially Glorious God, Glorious Gospel resources), children’s books (most recently The World Created, Fallen, Redeemed, Restored), Scripture memory tools and other resources designed to equip your home and church for leading children and youth to treasure God.

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God’s Perfect Knowledge—Psa 139:15-16

| Jun 8, 2014

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My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.—Psalm 139:15-16 We know […]

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