Ground Up Grace Newsletter April, 2022
Our Lord has guided us through the trials of the pandemic, our response to societal challenges and now the war in Ukraine. God uses the Daily Texts to give us hope in the middle of chaos and confusion.
Here is powerful example of how the Holy Spirit speaks to us through these verses. The war began on February 24th. Then on Saturday, February 26th the verse was from Psalm 27: 1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?”The next day, Sunday the 27th, was again from Psalm 27 but this time the last verse, 14. “Wait patiently for the Lord, be strong and courageous. Wait patiently for the Lord!”
Why is this significant? Never in our 35 years with the Daily Texts have we received two verses from the same Psalm in subsequent days. This shocked us. These verses were prayerfully selected three years ago from a collection of about 1300 Old Testament texts. What are the odds? More than the random chance of their selection, the messages from the Psalm are so timely for this war. As we sat in our home hearing the news coming from friends in front line cities in Ukraine, we realized that God was telling us, “I chose these verses three years ago. Now join in praying Psalm 27 over this war.”
You have heard us pray this often in our podcasts. If you feel called to pray this Psalm, you can print out the Psalm 27 prayer plan and pray its words over the war.
Sunday was the first day of the Muslim month of prayer and fasting (Ramadan). The verse chosen for the day was from Genesis 21:17-18. In this text God is speaking to Hagar, the mother of Ishmael asking, “What troubles you?” And then our Lord encourages her, “Don’t be afraid…” and concludes with the promise, “I will make a great nation of him.” The Arab nation is great!
We also know that many Arabs are Muslims who have a call to prayer five times a day. The Genesis text is a call to prayer from our God. He is calling us to pray for these Arabs and of course any other Muslims who during Ramadan are trying to make peace with their understanding of God.
But God wants everyone to know Him as the good Father who is our peace. This Father created us to know Him through His absolving love. But love and father are two terms Muslims do not use for God. So let us pray.
• Let us pray for Arab Muslims especially during Ramadan.
• Let us ask our Father to lead us to Muslim neighbors who do not know the God who says “fear not.”
• Let us pray that Muslims may know the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As we pray let us give thanks for our friend Tass Abu Saada who was converted to Jesus Christ through his friend Charlie many years ago. On April 7th, he returned to Jericho for the first time in over 2 years. He served there with his wife Karen for over ten years. You have heard Tass and Karen on our podcast. They now lead the ministry www.hopeforishmael.org.
(There are many good online sources for prayer, but one we use regularly is firstname.lastname@example.org)
You may have heard about Rikka’s stage 3 breast cancer by now. We are thankful that her oncologist has been an angel to her and to Gorden. She is preparing to receive chemotherapy for the tumor. As we have shared her concerns, we were girded to face them with the light of God’s word grounding us. We seek His face, trusting Him (waiting on Him) in every circumstance. This is our daily habit of being guided into daily truth through the Daily Texts. The lyrics from the Easter hymn “Now the Green Blade Rises From the Buried Grain” has permeated my soul during these days. Here is the last verse. Jesus is our risen grain who brings the fulfillment of new life to us each day.
When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain
Your touch can call us back to life again.
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.
Each of us has our life resting on God’s hope and promise of new life now and into eternity.
Yours under the grace of our Lord Jesus,
Sonja and Johan Hinderlie