South African pastor Andrew Murray was visiting England in 1895. While he was there, he began to experience a severe back pain from a previous injury.
While he was recuperating, he was told of a woman who was in great trouble and wanted to know if he had any advice for her. Murray replied, “Give her this piece of paper which I have been writing to help with my own encouragement. She may find it to be helpful.”
This is what Murray wrote: “In time of trouble say: First — God brought me here. It is by His will I am in this situation. In that, I will rest. Second — He will keep me in His love and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child. Next — He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends for me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last — In His good time, He can bring me out again — how and when, He knows. I am here — by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.”
Doesn’t it seem that we want an immediate answer? An instant solution, a quick fix? But some things take time and cannot be disposed of so readily; they can only be accepted.
Did you get that? Read it again. Some things cannot be disposed of as quickly as we wish they could; they can only be accepted.
How many times have you gone through something and wish it was over? Maybe you’re like me and you wish it was over even before it started. We just don’t like those difficult times — those hard times — those “storms of life” do we? But we know that we are going to experience times that we don’t like. Not every day can be a “top of the mountain — sun shining brightly” type of day.
Sometimes, there are going to be valleys, dark days and times when we think that God has left us because it doesn’t seem like He is even hearing our prayers, much less doing anything about them. Have you ever had a day/days like this? I know I have.
Just ask yourself this question: “Has God ever left me or forsaken me or turned His back on me?” Ever? Then why should He start now? Think about that. Why would He start now?
The answer is He doesn’t. The devil wants us to believe that in the difficult times, those “storms of life” days, that God has forsaken us. That God doesn’t care about us and that God is not there for us. He wants us to get mad at God for what we are experiencing, maybe even “curse God and die” like Job was told by his wife. God gets the bum rap. And the devil runs off laughing. But understand this:. God will keep us because God loves us. This isn’t a typo. God will keep us because God loves us and by His grace, we can rest in Him and trust that whatever happens, it’s going to be OK because God knows best.
King David said in Psalm 31:15, “My times are in your hands.” We should remember that. God has given us our life because He is sovereign and only God can give life. God sustains our life because everything we have comes from Him — even the air we breathe and God will one day call that life back to Him.
So, in the meantime, we live, we trust God and we try our best to honor Him with the life we live. We know that God permits suffering, but we also know he provides comfort and a way when there seems to be no way. Pray this: “Dear Lord, it’s hard to endure times of illness and suffering. Comfort me and help me to trust You more. In Jesus name. Amen. (By the way Amen means let it be so.) Let it be so.
And that is Something to Think About for this week. Blessings.
By the way, if you are on Facebook, you can watch our service “live” on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. Simply “like” our Facebook page and watch.
Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.
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