{While I'm in Haiti I asked a few friends to guest post … Enjoy and show them some love by leaving them a comment of encouragement}

I stopped to think the other day about what it would look like for the Lord to answer the things that I am praying for my children.  I pray often for my oldest, Malachi, that he would be strong and courageous. I took these words from Joshua 1 where the Lord is speaking to Joshua, the new leader of the Israelites, and commanding him to be strong and courageous. But why does Joshua need to be this way? Because the Lord is about to take him and the people into the land of Canaan to fight many enemies and conquer them to take possession of the land. Joshua needed strength and courage because the Lord was going with him into the midst of a dangerous and overwhelming scenario. So when I pray this for my son, I need to know that strength and courage are not often easily attained. To see the Lord carve these traits into Malachi may mean that I will also watch the Lord walk my son through dangerous and overwhelming situations where He teaches Malachi to trust so greatly in Him that it produces courage and strength in the face of worldly opposition. I must not be surprised by these things when they show up, because they are necessary to accomplish the greater things I hope for my son.

My daughter, Evie, is four. She is often emotionally swayed by the smallest things. She goes from tantrum to silly in a matter of seconds. But what I desire for her is a steadfastness in Christ that cannot be altered by her outward circumstances. So, I pray that for her. But here is what the Bible says leads to steadfastness:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2-3)

Trials are often the means that the Lord takes a person through to accomplish steadfastness. So, if I keep praying for God to save her and make her steadfast in faith in Jesus, then I need to know that she will likely face trials of various kinds. I need to not be surprised by this so that I don't constantly try to rescue her from facing trials – these are necessary to gain the end that I hope for her.

My littlest guy, Moses, is a character. He is charming and easily wins people over. I have started to pray that he will be an evangelist, that he will not be ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation. The apostle Paul wrote these words in the book of Romans (1:16). Paul said that he was not ashamed of the gospel. How could Paul be sure that this was true of himself? How did he know that he wasn't ashamed of the gospel? Because there had been many occasions that he had faced where the world attempted to shame him for believing in Jesus. He had spoken the gospel and been imprisoned or beaten or told he was a madman. That was why he could confidently declare that he was not ashamed of the gospel – because he had numerous opportunities to be ashamed andhad not given in to shame. So, when I pray that God would save Moses and make him not ashamed of the gospel, I need to know that many scenarios may arise where Moses faces shame from the world for believing the gospel. It will not be easy for him, but I know that the greater hope is not that he will walk through this world pleasing everyone, but having faith in the gospel of Christ and sometimes being ridiculed or suffering at the hands of others because of it.

May God give us grace to pray and grace to hope in His means of answering those prayers.

suh kids

Angela is married to Halim and has three kiddos (Malachi – 5, Evie – 4 and Moses – 2). They live in Austin, TX and are partners at the Austin Stone Community Church where Halim serves as a pastor and Angela teaches classes in the Get Trained ministry. You can read more from her at suhangela.wordpress.com.

Jamie Ivey