“Your rent is expected to rise by 200% next month. Prepare to pay double for your unit.”
The broker’s grim words laid heavy on my husband and me as first year missionaries in Singapore. We were strangers in a foreign land, and now we couldn’t afford rent. Fear gripped me and questions flooded my mind. Where would we go? How could we afford to move? What about my children? Oh, Lord, help!
Life was relatively stable when we had our own place in the Philippines. During this time, we committed to spread the Gospel through radio and obey God by moving wherever He led. My husband, young boys ages nine and six, and I left the comfort and security of our home to embark on a missionary adventure to the island nation of Singapore. After a year on the island, rental costs began to skyrocket and affordable housing was suddenly scarce. Other ministry colleagues were forced to move out in search of lower cost units, but we couldn’t even cover the moving costs.
At this point, I wanted to cry out, “Lord, why have you brought us here?” But that was just it: He called us to this place. He would provide.
Soon after, my husband and I were surprised our landlord wanted to speak with us. It turned out that he wasn’t going to raise our rent for the following year! In fact, God made a way for us to remain there for our entire missionary journey. Despite the modest financial support we received and the overall high cost of living, God blessed us with more than enough. I am happy to share that our kindhearted landlord eventually came to faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, God created a vibrant spiritual community there that continues to this day.
The Lord asked His disciples this question:
“When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler’s bag, or an extra pair of sandals, did you need anything?” “No,” they replied. (Luke 22:35 NLT)
I, too, confirm that my family and I needed for nothing and received complete provision from the Lord.
The Lord’s abundant faithfulness is evident in each divine provision, big or small. His faithfulness gives one courage to face the unknown. His grace is always sufficient, and His timing is always perfect.
My husband and I are now about to embark on a new chapter in our journey—retirement. Although we recognize the uncertainty of the future, we know through experience that God is our Provider.
Judges 7:2 2The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her,
When Gideon sent out the word that he would lead a battle against the Midianites, there was a good response. 32,000 volunteers showed up. God was more concerned about Israel’s spiritual health than freeing them from oppression. Though the odds were still greatly against Israel, God said there were too many men. They may take credit for what God did, and then they would be back at square one, in need of an oppressor to cause them to call out to God.
Sometimes we have too much talent, too many good ideas, too much ability for the LORD’S purposes. He may let us have our numerical strength, but if it is of man, it will eventually come to naught. For Israel and for us today, God needs insane odds against Him before He really pours out His power. He had Gideon get down to the ridiculous number of 300 men to show it was all God.
We see some amazing works of man today. After gathering a pool of talent there has been great numerical success. Surely the Lord will work even through that, but a generation will tell if the fruit will remain or if we will be back at square one. When people have called out to God, and unlikely instruments like Luther or Moody were called, the fruit remains.
Never think you are too lacking in talent, or ability, or numbers. The Apostle Paul rejoiced in his weaknesses that the glory of God might rest upon him to accomplish God’s purposes (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Remember: God is more concerned about your spiritual health than changing your circumstances.
Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle: 365 Sermons
The power of prayer and the pleasure of praise
‘Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.’ 2 Corinthians 1:11
Suggested Further Reading: Acts 1:12–15
We cannot all preach; we cannot all rule; we cannot all give gold and silver, but we can all contribute our prayers. There is no convert, though he be only two or three days old in grace, who cannot pray. There is no bedridden sister in Jesus who cannot pray; there is no sick, aged, illiterate or penniless believer, who cannot add his supplications to the general stock. This is the church’s riches. We put boxes at the door that we may receive your offerings to God’s cause—remember there is a spiritual chest within the church, into which we should all drop our loving intercessions, as into the treasury of the Lord. Even the widow, without her two mites, can give her offering to this treasury. See, then, dear friends, what union and communion there are among the people of God, since there are certain mercies which are only bestowed when the saints unitedly pray. How we ought to feel this bond of union! How we ought to pray for one another! How, as often as the church meets together for supplication, should we all make it our bounden duty to be there! I would that some of you who are absent from the prayer meeting upon any little excuse would reflect how much you rob us all. The prayer meeting is an invaluable institution, ministering strength to all other meetings and agencies. Are there not many of you who might come among us a little oftener? And what if you lose a customer now and then, do you not think that this loss could be well made up to you by your gains on other days? Or if not so, would not the spiritual profit much more than counterbalance any little temporal loss? ‘Not forgetting the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is.’
For meditation: United congregational and group prayer is of vital importance (2 Chronicles 7:14; Ezra 8:21–23; Daniel 2:17–19; Matthew 18:19–20; Acts 1:14,24; 2:1,42; 4:24,31; 12:5,12; 1 Timothy 2:1,8). How much of a contribution do you make to the prayer meeting?