Words of Encouragement - 28th December

Words of Encouragement - 28th December

Irene McMahon and her husband Wilson live in the Philippines where for many years they have served with OMF. They are highly respected mission leaders and educators. Thank you Irene

for taking the time to write our Guest Post today ... 

Life is not as we had expected. Most of us did not spend Christmas the way we usually do. There does not seem to be anything ‘new’ about the New year. Covid-19 continues. These are strange days.

When David found himself in troubling circumstances he did four things, the pattern is evident in many of his Psalms but particularly clear in Psalm 143:

1. He remonstrated to the Lord (v1-4): he did not internalise his feelings, he did not spiritualise it, he remonstrated against the Lord! He was not afraid to shout and cry and neither should we be.

2. He remembered the past works of the Lord (v5-6). New Year is a good time to reflect: to look back at answered prayer, to consider where and how you have seen the Spirit of God at work. The church in the Philippines is growing very fast under Covid-19 conditions. God has not ceased calling people to Himself across the world, He has just shut the church doors so He can get on with the work in new and unexpected ways. Be informed.

3. He relies on Gods mercy (v7-9). He reminds himself that God is a God of mercy, he knows God is for him and not against him. He expects God to act according to His character: mercifully, with love, trustworthy. The world may be a different place, but God grace is still available today.

4. He rejoices in answered prayer– even before he sees the answer! (v10-12) He knows God has committed His reputation (His names sake) to the life and testimony of David. David’s attitudes and acts will reflect on the honour of God, it is a public, living testimony. So is ours.

Life is not as we had expected but God continues to tie His reputation to ours. How will you respond to this not very new ‘new year?’

(When I asked Irene how she describes herself she said this ... 'catechised in Berry Street Presbyterian, discipled in leadership in First Antrim Presbyterian, trained to living by faith in OMF (International), taught to pray by the church in the Tigwa Valley (Philippines). Taught how to love and live sacrificially by Wilson, Owen, Anna-Claire and Gavin. Still learning, still a pilgrim.')