Monday, September 19, 2011

James Hamilton: How the Lord Provided For Me in Seminary

Many of my friends know that I have been prayerfully considering more schooling for the purpose of more ministry equipping. Now, I recognize that the stakes are extremely high in such a consideration, because I have a family and I am committed to leading and providing for that family. The discernment process needs to involve church leaders, one's desires, one's abilities, one's wife's support, and whether there the decision is a responsible one financially. But I have been shocked by the sheer volume of Christians who have accused me of being irresponsible for thinking of a) spending all of my savings for the purpose of school; b) entering a program when I don't have all of the funds needed to graduate. Some have even implied that the apex of Biblical faithfulness as a husband involves developing equity and padding my family's security. Sad. In my case, some financial factors fell through this past summer and we decided to defer my acceptance and continue to pray about this whole ordeal. It may be that God leads us into these studies or away from them. We are taking this time to reevaluate. Whether God uses me in the church or the classroom (or both) in the future is yet to be seen. Whether I have the privilege of studies, vocational ministry, or simply working while serving my family and church family for a while, is also yet to be seen. But as I think and pray and talk, James Hamilton's testimony of the way God provided for him to complete his two advanced degrees, was really encouraging. The simple fact is that when God's man steps out in faith, and when that man is both truly called by God and also willing to work hard, God provides. This has been the testimony of every PhD graduate I have ever talked to, and this is Hamilton's testimony as well. His article begins this way:

A friend asked me this morning how I arranged to pay for my seminary studies. I am grateful for this question because it gave me an opportunity to reflect on the steadfast faithfulness of the Lord. The truth is that I didn’t arrange anything, but God did. I moved to Dallas in August of 1996 to attend Dallas Theological Seminary, trusting that God would bring me through, and he did just that. Perhaps I was young and na├»ve, but God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness are bigger than the foolishness of those who trust him. The Lord provided, and he provided through people like my friend who asked me the question this morning—that friend bought me my first computer and printer when I started at at DTS.

Read the whole thing here.

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