The God of the Waves

 

When trials come, it’s easy to forget that the trials are only temporary. What we’re going through we are going through. That’s been the experience of God’s children down through the ages.

Take heart that God is seeing us through to a glorious end.

“But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His … [intervention] deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed.”

~Amy Carmichael


“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (ESV).

Pursuing Christ

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Scottish pastor Samuel Rutherford penned this letter while in exile in 1637. It was written to Lady Cardoness. Perhaps the Lord has preserved it down through the centuries so that believers would read it and become a bit jealous of Rutherford’s nearness to Christ. That’s the impact the letter had on me.

“Walk in the Truth, and follow the despised but most lovely Son of God.

I cannot but recommend Him to you as your Husband, your Well-beloved, your Portion, your Comfort and your Joy.

I say this of the Lovely One, because considering what He has done for me, I can say nothing else. He has watered with His sweet comforts an oppressed prisoners. He was always kind to my soul; but never so kind as now in my great extremities.

I dine and sup with Christ.”

You can read the entire letter here.

Beginning, Center, and End

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Octavius Winslow was a 19th century pastor and writer in America.

I’m thankful for the simplicity of what he wrote. He places these wonderful truths down where I can easily reach them.

“We cannot keep our eye too exclusively or too intently fixed on Jesus.

All salvation is in Him. All salvation proceeds from Him. All salvation leads to Him.

And for the assurance and comfort of our salvation we are to repose believingly and entirely on Him.

Christ must be all!

Christ the beginning; Christ the center; and Christ the end.

Oh sweet truth to you who are sensible of your poverty, vileness, and insufficiency, and of the ten thousand flaws and failures of which, perhaps, no one is cognizant but God and your own soul!

Oh, to turn and rest in Christ; a loving Christ; a tender Christ, whose heart’s love never chills, from whose eye darts no reproof, from whose lips breathes no sentence of condemnation!

Christ must be all!”

You can read more about Pastor Winslow here. More of his writings can be found at Grace Gems.


“Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3:11 (ESV)

Mail from John Newton

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“I think the Lord has seen fit to visit you with much … [illness] of late; I say He has seen fit, for all our trials are under His immediate direction, and we are never in heaviness without a need-be.” 

Hymn writer and pastor John Newton shared that consolation in a letter to an ailing friend in 1768.

One of the things that encourages me most about John Newton’s letters is his confidence that the Lord is the one who orchestrates life’s events – even illness. I find great comfort in that.

The man who brought us Amazing Grace and Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken went on to write:

“How happy is the state of a believer, to have a sure promise that all shall work together for good in the end, and in the meantime a sure refuge where to find present relief, support, and protection!

I trust He does and will give you strength equal to your day, and sweeten what would be otherwise bitter with the essence of His precious love. I hope soon to hear that you are restored to health, and that you have found cause to praise Him for the rod.

How … [comforting] is it, when trouble is near, to know that the Lord is near likewise, and to commit ourselves and all our cares simply to Him, believing that His eye is upon us, and His ear open to our prayers.

Under the conduct of such a Shepherd we need not fear: though we are called to pass through fire and water, through the valley of the shadow of death, He will be with us, and will shew Himself mighty on our behalf.”

You can read the entire letter here.

Stationed in a War Zone

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This land we live in is a spiritual war zone. Some days it’s more evident than others, but it’s a reality that we live in a fallen world where every day light opposes darkness and good goes head to head with evil.

The believer feels it in his soul. The Apostle Paul did. “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” –Romans 7:21-23

Since we agree we’re in a war zone, then it’s imperative that we resolve to stay alert. The honor of our King is at stake.

So how do we stay alert?

  1. Stay in God’s word. When I neglect the Bible, I start drifting away from the Lord. I let my guard down. I sin.
  2. Determine to spend time alone with God.
  3. Be faithful to rub elbows with saints whose lives and words point you to the things of God.

A saint who always points me Godward is Amy Carmichael, the missionary to India. These thoughts from Amy seem more like commands from a general, a general who understands the dangers of war. Listen closely:

“Comrades, in this solemn fight, this awful conflict with awful powers, let us settle it as something that cannot be shaken.

We are here to live holy, loving lives.

We cannot do this unless we walk very, very close to our Lord Jesus.

Anything that would hinder us from the closest walk that is possible to us, till we see Him face to face, is not for us.”

~Amy Carmichael from God’s Missionary

A More Noble Race

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Here’s an excerpt from a sermon Edward Payson preached for New Year’s a couple centuries ago. It’s pretty challenging.

“Too long have I run in the race with men of this world, who have their portion in this life.

Too long have I been a competitor for the worthless prize which they are pursuing. But I will be so no longer.

I forsake the race, I stand aside, and say, Let others pursue and obtain, if they can, the pleasures, the applause, the possessions, which this world offers … I resign them all.

I have another race to run, I have nobler objects to pursue; and to this race, to these objects, to the service of my Savior, and to the pleasures, the honors, the possessions of eternity, I now, in the presence of God, consecrate my future life and all my powers.”

Read the entire sermon here.

~Edward Payson, 1783-1827


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

~Hebrews 12:1-2