I have felt such a heavy burden for the church (the body of Christ) in recent months! I’ve seen such beauty displayed among its members at times that I feel as if I’ve gotten a glimpse of heaven. Yet, I’ve also seen so much damage being done. I’ve seen ministries torn down, precious people wounded, and I’ve felt the heart of my Savior break over what should never be! The Spirit has led me again and again to John 17, whispering to my soul, “This is my deepest desire – the greatest longing of my heart!” I feel compelled to appeal once more to the small audience I have and ask us all to revisit this passage together, asking God to lead us to the cry of His heart. Asking Him to make us one. So, let’s look together at John 17 – the passage in which Jesus prays for His precious church.
One of the most difficult parts of recovering from intimate betrayal is learning how and when to start allowing trust to be rebuilt. This becomes especially difficult when there have been multiple betrayals strung out over long periods of time, with periods of believed sobriety in between. How can we ever know what’s true when life has been one huge lie after another? How can we ever believe that the evidences of change are real this time when they’ve been nothing more than a mirage so many times before? While things are going very well for us right now, I’d be lying if I said this isn’t still a huge (HUGE) struggle for me. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13 that love always trusts; and the life of a Christian is supposed to be defined by love. So, it’s vital that I learn how to find truth and who, what, why, when, and how to trust.
Last week I shared with you the first part of Mariama’s testimony: How she heard about the Lord, and how He miraculously drew her to Himself. I told you about her Muslim family and how after she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior they abused her, took everything from her, (including her two precious babies) and eventually disowned her. I told you how God provided for her through impossible circumstances and called her to serve Him as a missionary to her own people. I told you how her ministry began and how even as God blessed her through the love and support of other believers her heart still longed to see her children again and for them to come to know her Savior. That is where we’ll pick up now.