21st August 2011 – 10th Sunday After Pentcost A

Bill Armstrong, pastor of the Wynnum Manly Alliance Church, sends weekly words of encouragement to members of the Ministers Fraternal. In the midst of preparation for his surgery (on Thursday) Bill has continued to send these stirring thoughts to us all.

Last week he wrote the following, which seems incredibly appropriate given some of the concerns, which have been shared of late-

The Divine Plus: Ole Hallesby wrote in the 1930’s in Norway, “The stress of economic difficulty darkens many a home.” He mentioned families who had been relatively rich but in one year became poor. As then, financial losses and pressures weigh on many of us today, with negative news making us question how we’ll avoid hunger and homelessness in the future. For Hallesby and his neighbours, things got much worse – in April 1940, the Nazis invaded. Hallesby was a leader among those who resisted, and he was sent to a concentration camp for two years. He experienced what we dread.

What if everything we’re counting on for security is swept away? What if we lose our jobs or health? What if the worst happened here – the way it has happened, and continues to happen to innocent people elsewhere in the world?

We get a bracing view of money and security in 1 Timothy 6:6-8: “True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content” (NLT). Content even when the food is plain and the clothes threadbare? Content even when the future is uncertain? Content in a concentration camp?

God’s grace has brought godly contentment to many in extreme circumstances. We bring our anxieties and needs to the Father, with prayer and thanksgiving. In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he tells his young protégé not to be afraid of suffering.

Hallesby writes the following about times when it seemed there just wasn’t enough money and resources to cover basic necessities: “God quietly added His divine plus, and there was enough. He has not removed our difficulties, He has transformed them so that we can see His purpose and His grace.”


Lord, please help me to have a spirit of contentment about what I have and what I lack. In poverty or prosperity, in good or poor health, in peace or danger, pour into my soul the confidence that You care and will provide. Amen.

Our prayers are with Bill, his family and congregation, as he recovers from surgery.


Rev Shan