We shall know the truth and His truth will make us free. (John 8:32) You and I can be the righteousness of God in Christ…have the mind of Christ. Christ in you or me is our Hope of Glory. (Galatians 5:5)
Over eight years ago, Garry (my husband) and I met a young man and his wife. Many of you know that I often say, ” I don’t believe anything happens by accident… it’s all within God’s plan.” Once again God is revealing Himself in a powerful way.
Yesterday, I received a letter along with a wonderful poem. After all those eight years, the young man’s wife contacted me. Her husband, in prison now, was reflecting on our past encounter. He named both Garry and I and talked of how God used the four of us together to clarify life direction!
At that time, he was unwilling to hear, obey, and finish his call of God. He recalled things I’d not thought of in those many years. But Stephen asked his wife, Lesa, to reach out to Garry and me. Praise God! Lesa followed through and contacted me by phone. I requested a copy of his letters and prayer.
God is alive and well! He used this couple to encourage me! Struggling with frustrations, the day I received the letters was a difficult one for me. It arrived totally unexpected by special delivery on my fasting and prayer day. But God knew… I started reading and praying. I was no longer distracted by Satan’s attempt to steal my joy. Focused on God’s word and will, I prayed for Steven and Lesa. Joy filled my heart, mind and soul as the Holy Spirit led me to recall and act on what God had planned for the four of us eight years before.
Now, today, from my lectionary (study guide) I quote God’s word from James 1: 1-18 (GNB): “From James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ: Greetings to all God’s people scattered over the whole world.
My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing… If any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all… you must believe and not doubt. Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test, they will receive as their reward the life which God promised to those who love him…”
In your Bible, please read every word for yourself so you can see that every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven. “Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19-20, GNB) Human anger does not achieve God’s righteous purpose. Abiding in Him does.
James 1:25 “If you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice–you will be blessed by God in what you do.”
ANSWERED PRAYER by Stephen Kendus
Work through me Holy Spirit, now I pray; I’ve been brought lowly to this place, the truth to face. I cannot get away. Touch through me Holy Spirit, let the others feel this poem. What I share is real; not just for the rhythm and rhyme, but for my brothers and my sisters also serving time.
In my darkest hours, Lord, I’ve called upon your Name. You know the thoughts I think towards you—Please take from me the shame. Thoughts of peace and not of evil, for a future and a hope, I prayed. Dear God, please help me. Please give me strength to cope…
I sought you and I found you, Lord. I searched with all my heart; You heard me, and you listened as I pled for a new start. I’ve backslid and I’ve faltered all along life’s way. Though willing in my spirit, my flesh had hell to pay.
Dear Father God in heaven, my only hope is you: Jesus’ blood, my sins to cleanse — your sovereign word is true. The Bible holds the answers that some think hard to find; For those who seek your will and way, it’s all a state of mind. Knock and the door shall open; seek and ye shall find. A new day is awaiting, so leave the past behind…
From captivity God said He’d bring me back. As a true son being chastened, God’s love is never slack. I pray this poem I wrote today will help more than just me. For my brothers and my sisters too — Lord, set the captives free. God, bring them from their prisons. Lord, break the chains today. Father, while they serve the time they must, show them your better way. Lord, light our path; please, make it clear. Our faith we put in You. Trusting day by day to hear Your Spirit, tried and true.