Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Josh and Anna Celebrate

Joshua and Anna Duggar just celebrated their eighth anniversary. This is what was said about them: “Throughout this ordeal, Anna remained faithful to her husband. While she publicly shared the deep grief and betrayal that she felt, she never once talked badly about Josh. She continued to trust in God and be strong for her children, and she waited patiently for her husband to complete his program and return home.”

The world can’t understand this type of love and forgiveness. They consistently ridicule the Duggar family’s values and of course they do. The Duggar family lives for the Lord and His glory, not the world’s. Yes, Josh committed terrible sins against his wife but she was determined to show him the grace and forgiveness the Lord shows us.

The Apostle Paul murdered Christians. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:9, 10). God showed His grace and forgiveness to an evil man who was murdering His children and used him in a mighty way. The Apostle Paul saw Jesus, took part in the beginnings of the Church, and wrote the most powerful books in the Bible.

God did this to show His depth of compassion and love upon us and that no one is beyond redemption. There are women in the chat room fighting for their marriages. Their husbands are living with their girlfriend, trapped in addictive drugs, and living in direct disobedience to the Lord. Yet, these women know what is at stake: their husband’s eternal souls. This is what they are fighting for. They have an eternal perspective, not a selfish, "it’s-all-about me and my pain" attitude.

The stakes are high, women. Eternity in hell is a long, long, time. Men who are caught in Satan’s web are blessed who have godly wives who are broken up inside from the rejection and suffering they are going through but continue to stand strong in the Lord like Anna. In the Lord’s strength, they are being Jesus to their disobedient husbands and showing love, warmth, and joy to them. It’s amazing to read their testimonies when their husbands come home and want healing for their marriage. Some begin going to church and loving the Jesus they see in their wives.

No, the world can’t understand denying ourselves and living for something so much bigger than us. Time here is short and it is far better to live our lives for others and for His glory than for ourselves and for the pleasures this world has to offer.

The Duggars are consistently being mocked for their faith because they are willing to put it on display for all to see. I have learned from them and I am sure many others have. We’ve learned what a blessing children and strong marriages are and the importance of dressing modestly. We’ve seen them go on mission trips, take treats to the local policemen and firemen, and how they handle difficulties by trusting in the Lord. We’ve seen them forgive others who have sinned against them. The children wait patiently for the one they are going to marry and stay pure during the courtship and engagement, then go on to have strong marriages, except the precious one who forgave her husband who sinned greatly against her.

I love the writings of Charles Spurgeon, as you know. He wrote: “You tell me there are no persecutions now. Indeed, perhaps if you followed Christ more fully, you would find out there were.” Follow Christ fully, trust the Lord, and expect to be ridiculed by many in this evil age but never take part in the mocking of other believers who are living their lives for the Lord. Rejoice with them when their prodigal comes home.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2 Timothy 3:12