Letter from K.P. about Manja
first published: June 30, 2004 – Gospel for Asia
I know it’s hard to hear the news about our brother Manja not being released like we prayed and hoped he would. Sometimes we don’t understand why these things happen.
In the Bible we learn a very valuable lesson in the area of disappointments. Usually disappointments are the result of the way we feel about something that turned out differently than we had planned or hoped.
There are two kinds of disappointments: those that are in our control, and those that are not in our control. For example, if a student doesn’t study and gets bad grades, his disappointment is in his control. However, a flight that is late, causing you to lose your connection, is out of your control.
Two Scriptures that give us some insight into why we get disappointed and how we should respond:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NKJV).
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, NKJV).
It’s easy to believe these two Scriptures when things are going well, but when things are going opposite of what we expect, it’s harder to believe what God says here.
Because we see, touch, taste, hear and smell – our five senses tell us what we believe to be real, but as A.W. Tozer says in his book The Pursuit of God, “The visible becomes the enemy of the invisible; the temporal, of the eternal.”
To truly believe what God is doing behind the visible, we must exercise our total trust and faith in God that He knows what He is doing, and that He is still in control even though the world around us may look out of control.
Think about three men in the Bible – Joseph, Moses and Peter. We consider each of them to be a great leader and man who knew the Lord. But do you realize that it was through great disappointments that God made them to be who they were? Without the difficulties that they faced, they would have never been what God made them to be.
There are three things that will help us respond in the right way to our disappointment.
1. We need to look at this situation from God’s point of view – we look at the physical, but God looks beyond that to the spiritual.
2. If we can follow the first one, the second one is easy. We need to rejoice, knowing that God is in control. Paul tells us to rejoice ‘for’ and ‘in’ every situation.
3. If we can apply the second one, we can easily follow the third, which is to trust the Lord to work things out.
One of the first questions that comes to mind when we hear that our brother Manja was not released is, “was it because I didn’t pray enough?” Or, “was there something I could have done more to get him free?” And the answer is no. The Lord is in control and maybe he did answer our prayers, but in a way we didn’t hope or expect. And now we must trust Him, believing He will work everything out.
If you could read what our field leader in Nepal wrote, you would see a calmness and a peace that tell us our staff there know God is in control. They are disappointed, but their disappointment doesn’t overcome their faith in God’s sovereign plan. It almost seems that we are more disappointed than they are. Our leader told me that “we know God is in control and He is faithful.”
Let us continue to pray and believe that the Lord will make a way for Manja to be free.
Yours for the unreached millions,
More about Manja ….