I know you have been there. Whether it was a family member or friend, you received the news of a life-changing diagnosis. You prayed and pleaded, cried and begged to the God who can do the impossible. Yet your prayers went unanswered just as mine did. I’ve lost a high school friend to brain cancer, another friend to ovarian cancer and another friend’s two year old to leukemia. Many of you have also lost loved ones to this epidemic. I prayed and believed God for the impossible just as others were praying too but He had a different plan. Our faith in God to move mountains (cancer) didn’t move His hand that heals.
So maybe you can relate to my fear in the midst of my faith with yet another possible diagnosis for a dear friend and sister in Christ.
Dichotomy of Belief
There’s a place in the heart
where fear and faith
doubt and belief
wrestle between the two extremes.
Faith flows full
I know my God is able
yet fear lingers
and doubt surrounds
even in the believing.
So I kneel before you Lord
Just as another man once did
in weakness and truth he said
“Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
So, Lord, this too is my plea.
We just completed our study James: Living a Life of Genuine Faith by Jen Wilkin. The Book of James may be small but it is powerfully packed with commands for living the Christian life. Here’s what we concluded from our study:
As women of genuine faith we will:
-Remain steadfast through trials
-Flee from temptation
-Receive the word with humility
-Care for orphans and widows
-Keep ourselves unstained from the world
-Show no favoritism or partiality
-Do good works
-Control our tongue
-Display Godly wisdom
-Submit to God in Humility
-Not speak evil against one another
-Make plans with the Lord always in mind
-Be patient in suffering
-Establish our hearts
-Be women of integrity by keeping our word/commitments to others
-Be committed to a body of Christ
-Pray for one another
-Lovingly confront a sister in sin
You may have never heard of Jen Wilkin or her studies that she leads with her Flower Mound Women’s Bible Study group. Learn more about her at her blog The Beginning of Wisdom. Listen to her teach through different studies at her podcasts. If you haven’t read her book Women of the Word, I highly recommend it also.
Ulrich Zwingli. Perhaps you have heard of him. I certainly had not so I was eager to learn more about this 1500s reformer from the Bitesize Biographies series from Evangelical Press Books. William Boekestein, the author of Ulrich Zwingli, gives the reader an in-depth look into Zwingli’s life and ministry.
His ministry would begin in 1506 at the Catholic Church of Glarus in Switzerland. His religious education was lacking but upon this position he began to study the languages and was greatly influenced by Erasmus who helped him understand the sufficiency of Christ.
In 1518 he would become the pastor of the Great Minister Church of Zurich even after confessing to sexual improprieties. This led him to appeal four years later to the bishop of Constance for permission for priests to marry but he would have no success. He married Anna Reinhart in 1524 and continued his pastoral position.
Zwingli was a defender of the evangelical church against the criticisms of the Roman Church. Catholicism was being purged in Zurich with Zwingli in the lead. After leading reforms in education, sacraments and morals the Zurich church broke with Rome in 1525.
Zwingli would come against some of the beliefs of the Anabaptists and Martin Luther. In 1531 the Catholic states would engage in war against Zurich. Over 500 Zurich men died in just a few hours. Twenty-five pastors were selectively killed as heretics. Zwingli was caring for a wounded comrade when he was struck in the head by an enemy’s stone. His last words were:
“What matters this misfortune? They may kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul.”
There is much more to learn of Zwingli in this well documented account of his life. This book gives us insight into a little known man who fought for Christ to be known.
I received this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for a honest review.