Pages

Saturday, January 27, 2018

January Devotional "The Power of an Endless Life"



Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
John 11:25-26

We are not left of God
So long as a rose blooms at our window-pane;
So long as the sun shines and the soft rain
Calls forth the early violets from the sod.
If but a wild brier by our pathway nod,
After its winter death wakened again,
Seeing its life we may forget our pain
Of unbelief. Who brings forth life but God?
He stains with tender tint the lily's lip;
Feeds with incessant care the insect crew;
Drops honey for the wandering bee to sip
In a white chalice set with pearls of dew.
The glow-worm hath its lamp; the firefly's light
Is but a pledge of love writ on the night.
F.W. BUTTS

Did you ever climb the winding staircase in the interior of some great monument or tower? At intervals, as you ascended, you came to a window which let in a little light, and through which, as you looked out, you had a glimpse of a great expanse of fair and lovely world outside the dark tower. You saw green fields, rich gardens, picturesque landscapes, streams flashing like flowing silver in the sunshine, the blue sea yonder; and far away, on the other hand, the shadowy forms of great mountains. How little, how dark, how poor and cheerless, seemed the close, narrow limits of your staircase as you looked out upon the illimitable view that stretched from your window!
Life in this world is like the ascent of such a column. But while we climb heavily and wearily up its steep, dark stairway—there lies, outside the thick walls, a glorious world reaching away into eternity, beautiful and filled with the rarest things of God's love. And thoughts of immortality, when they come to us, are little windows through which we have glimpses of the infinite sweep and stretch of life beyond this hampered, broken, fragmentary existence of earth.
The doctrine of the resurrection is one of these windows. It opens to us a vista running way beyond the grave. Death is a mere episode, a mere experience, an incident on the way. Even the grave, which seems to quench all the light of life, is but a chamber in which we shall disrobe ourselves of the infirmities, blemishes and imperfections of mortality—and be re-clothed in the holy, spotless vesture of immortality.
Thus winter comes, and the leaves fall, the flowers fade, the plants die—and snow wraps the earth in a blanket of death. But spring comes again, and the buds burst out anew, the flowers lift their heads and the grasses shoot up once more. From beneath the great snowdrifts—the gentlest and most delicate forms of life come as fresh and fragrant as if they had been nourished in a conservatory. Nature rises from the grave of winter in new beauty and luxuriance. In place of the sere leaves, and faded loveliness, and exhausted vigor of the autumn—there is now all the splendor of new creation! Every leaf is green, every pore is flowing full of vital sap, and every flower pours sweetest fragrance on the air.
The grave is but life's winter, from whose darkness and chill we shall come with unwasted beauty. Then, way beyond this strange experience, as we look out at the window again—we see life going on, expanding, deepening, enriching.
When the truth of immortal existence comes into our personal consciousness, it opens a wonderful vista before us. It gives life a new glory. It furnishes one of the most powerful motives for noble living.
Life may seem a failure here—crushed like a lily under the heel of wrong or sin—broken, trampled, torn. But it may yet become a glorious success. Many of the truest and best of God's children, know only defeat in this world. They are evermore beaten back and thrust down. The burdens are too heavy for them. They are overmastered by sorrows. The world's enmity treads them in the dust. They are not worldly-wise, and while others march by to great earthly success—they live obscurely, oppressed, cheated, wronged, and lie buried away in the darkness….
If the vista did not reach beyond the bare and cold room in which these suffering ones breathe their last—we might drop a tear of pity over their sad story of defeat. But when the curtain is lifted—and we see millions of years of existence for them on the other side—we dry our tears. There will be time enough for them to retrieve the failure of earth. Through the love and grace of Christ, the defeated Christian life that goes out in the darkness here—may be restored to beauty and power, and in the long ages beyond death may realize all the hopes that seemed utterly wrecked in this world.
The translation of a Christian life from earth to heaven—is but like the removal of a tender plant from a cold northern garden, where it is stunted and dying—into a tropical field, where it puts out most luxuriant growths and covers itself with splendor!
Thus the glimpses we get through the little dim windows in the walls of our earthly life—should give a new meaning to our existence here, and to all our multiplied relationships. With immortality glowing before us, our brief years on earth should be marked by earnestness, reverence, love and faithfulness. Soon we shall break out of our narrow circle—and traverse the boundless fields that we see now only in the far-away and momentary glimpse. But it will be a blessed thing if we can get into our hearts even here, something of the personal consciousness of our immortality, with its limitless possessions and possibilities, and feel something in our souls—of the power of an endless life!

J.R. MILLER -1880
Glimpses at Life’s Window

This devotional is dedicated to Sue Whitely, missionary to Nepal, who has been transplanted to the Garden of Paradise in Heaven now.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

4th Advent Devotional ~ "For the Birth of Jesus Christ is the turning point in the world’s history."

Adoration of the Shepherds
Gerard van Honthorst-1622


So  it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
Luke 2:15-16

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;

See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle,
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

                                                         JOHN F. WADE
O Come, All Ye Faithful

         The Gospel of St. Luke has been described by one of the greatest literary critics, though not a Christian, as ‘the most beautiful book in the world.’ And in that beautiful book there is no passage of greater beauty and tenderness than the simple story which is in all our hearts this Christmas Day…. We read again with a growing admiration and reverence the matchless phrases in which St. Luke tells of the song of the angels, the faith of the shepherds, the adoring love of the maiden mother who kept in her heart all that was said of her wondrous Son. The story is so simple, so human, and we know it so well, that we do not always recognize, as we read, of how great a thing it tells—how wonderful a thing, full of daily consequence to us all.
         For the Birth of Jesus Christ is the turning point in the world’s history. Whether you accept His claims and obey His words or—which God forbid—disbelieve the one and reject the other, this is certain—that He rules the life of men today. For the civilized nations of the world, the years are reckoned from His Advent. ‘In the year of our Lord.’ So all our years are named, and so they are in truth. For the greatness of Jesus Christ is not only the greatness of a Master of mankind who affects posterity by the memory of His wisdom and His example; it is the greatness of Him who is the First and the Last and the Living One, with whom a thousand years are but as one day, who is as truly present now for grace and blessing as He was in Bethlehem when the shepherds came in trembling faith to greet the long-looked-for Savior of their race.
         It is He who was from the beginning, the Eternal and Supreme, who is the Life and Light, not only of this world and of all that is on it, but of the millions of worlds that science reveals to us—it is He who became man for our sakes, and submitted, of His love, to the restraints and limitations of man’s nature. And it is because we forget this, because we forget who it was that was born on the first Christmas Day, that we pay so little heed to His words and to His will.
         'Let us now go even unto Bethlehem.' So said the shepherds one to another on that first Christmas Eve, when they had heard the message of the angels, and had seen the shining glory round about them. Shall we follow them? For Christmas has come again, and once more the thoughts of men everywhere are turning to that little village far away on the uplands of Judea.
Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, that we may find Christ…. God’s ways are not even now as our ways. If we are to find Christ we must look for Him where we should not expect to see Him. We must lay aside our pride if we are indeed to welcome the Son who is given to us today. His first coming is the image of His comings still. He comes to us in the lowly places of the earth; He comes to us in the shape of the most helpless. He comes to us in the lonely outlying cottage, He comes to us in the crowded and neglected suburbs, He comes to us in the penitent, ant prisoner, the outcast. We have but to go a little way from our own homes to find some Bethlehem—some poor unnoticed spot—which Christ left heaven to glorify by His presence. We have but to open our eyes and we shall see Him very near to us, even as He once was, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, ready to receive, even from us whom He saves, the offerings of grateful love.
         To recognize the love of God in the infant of Bethlehem is now, as then, to acknowledge the Divine inheritance of all humanity.
         “And they came with haste, and found the babe lying in a manger.” That is all they found. Something so gentle and homely and sweet, this entry of our God. Just a flickering light in the night under the stars; just a light through a window in a dark yard, and a rough hill-village, low and dark amid the huddled stones of the ridge. And, within, cattle looming in the shadows, and one spot in the midst bright with torch or lamp; and a carpenter from Nazareth, bending tender and anxious, and a white, wearied, happy maiden-mother laid on the bed. In a manger on the soft hay a tiny Baby, with wondering eyes opening on a world that was strange to it. That was all.
         And yet the Prophets were right. The strength of the Lord of Hosts was lodged there in the baby body. The seed of Calvary lay there within that soft and tender flesh. Through those little hands, white and delicate as flowers, nails would be run, and the brow so fair would wear the thorn. The zeal and the fury of high passion for righteousness would bear Him out into the loneliness of conflict, into the terrors and the pains, in restlessness and groanings to work out the awful tragedy, with the sweat of agony, with the loud cry of a broken heart, forsaken and alone. Lifted up to the scorn and slight of savage foes, hung naked between heaven and earth—it would all come to pass in the order of the days…. All life, all history, led up, according to Jewish prophecy, to the final act of Divine justification. And when that moment is reached, it is He, this quiet, unassuming Man, who will be found seated on the Throne; and according to men’s relations with Him, and by no other test or standard, they will discover themselves to be judged. On that day there will be no other cry going out from the human lips but, ‘Lord! Lord!’
JAMES HASTINGS
The Speaker’s Bible -Luke


Saturday, December 16, 2017

3rd Advent Devotional ~"There is more melody in Christ than in all worlds."

“…for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you:
You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
 ​​“Glory to God in the highest,
​​And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:10-14

The Angel of the Lord rent the veil of heaven,
And proclaim the newly born King he must,
Joined by the glorious angelic anthem,
Lauding their wondrous King made of earth’s dust.

The brilliant star has arisen in the east,
And shine upon the newborn King it must;
Leading the Magi to worship at His royal feet,
For it was He who created its stardust.

The flocks clothing the hills follow their shepherd,
As they make haste to this newborn King.
Angel’s voice and song startles their slumber,
And leads them to worship at His tiny feet.

A devout man of many years with divine surety,
Takes into his arms the Lord of earth and sky;
Musing as he gently caresses His soft, tiny feet,
“Now I have seen our Salvation from on high!”

Jesus our Lord, Incarnate King of kings,
We praise and worship You on bended knee.
Almighty Creator of all lovely things,
At Your pierced feet we bow with rejoicing.
C.A. TAYLOR
Worship We Must

On earth few cared for the Lord Jesus. The innkeeper could not find room for Him. Herod wished to kill Him. The mass of mankind thought nothing of Him. But the multitude of the heavenly host were praising God, and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’
The angels thought more of God’s mercy to man than man thought of it himself.  They were unselfish in their praise, for the good will was not to angels, but to men, and the peace was not for heaven, but for earth.  But our peace filled their hearts with joy.  The peace was for us, but the thought of it gladdened them.  Is it not strange that believing hearts are not more gladdened when the sacred gift is bestowed on themselves?  Shall angels who have no share in the blessing praise God, and shall we, for whose life all has been done, shall we be silent?  If they are filled with thanksgiving while they merely look on and see what God has done for us, shall not we, for whom He has done it, at all events equal them in praise?  
Therefore with the angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name.

JAMES HASTINGS
The Speaker’s Bible -Luke

There are some who take the word “highest” to mean that there is glory to God in the highest degree by the coming of Christ. God is glorified in nature—“the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.” He is glorified in every dewdrop that sparkles in the morning sun, and, in every tiny wood-flower that blossoms in the copse. Every bird that warbles on the spray, every lamb that skips the mead, glorifies God. All creation glorifies God. Do not the stars write His name in golden letters across the midnight sky? Are not the lightnings His sword flashing from His scabbard? Are not the thunders the roll-drums of His armies? From least to greatest the whole of creation tells forth His glory. But the majestic organ of creation cannot reach the compass of the organ of redemption. There is more melody in Christ than in all worlds. He brings glory to God in the very highest degree.

JAMES HASTINGS
Great Texts of the Bible-Luke



Sunday, December 10, 2017

2nd Advent Devotional ~"The Christ of the Gospel is the Christ you are seeking, the Christ you need."


And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Luke 1:31-33

A man will be as a hiding place from the wind,
And a cover from the tempest,
As rivers of water in a dry place,
As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Isaiah 32:2

God became Man that we
Might learn what a man should be!
How tender and true and strong,
How patient to suffer wrong.
When He for our sakes did die,
And rising, went up on high,
Still God, and still Man, He sent
A Guide to the Way He went,
Who should give to us, day by day,
Grace to live lives His Way.
God became Man that we
Might learn what a man should be!

In the House of my Pilgrimage

Isaiah’s words are not only man’s ideal: they are God’s promise, and that promise has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God has set His seal to the truth, that the greatest power in shaping human destiny is Man himself, by becoming one with man, by using a human soul to be the Saviour of the race.
He is a man. Oh how often, in the thought of Christ’s real humanity, has my soul found a hiding-place from all manner of storms! God!—the word is great. God!—the idea is sublime. The great Eternal God, who made the heavens and the earth, and who bears them up by His unaided power, who rides upon the stormy sky, and puts a bit into the mouth of the raging tempest—how shall I, a poor worm of the dust, draw nigh to such a God as this? The answer quickly comes, “He has been pleased to reveal Himself in the Man Christ Jesus.”
Do not talk any more about the point where humanity leaves off and divinity begins, or divinity leaves off and humanity beings. Christ is all human, human all the time, Divine all the time. He is your brother, He is also more than that. He is your God. There is nothing in Christ that is foreign to what you and I aspire to know in our God. And yet Christ is as completely human as you. Pardon me, I have even understated my case. He is more human than you are. The only Man whom the world has ever seen is your Christ and mine, as human as you. Your humanity will come to its own only when it aspires to His and is represented in it. Remember, there is no dividing line between the Deity and the Humanity of our blessed Lord. He is both, and both are one. The Christ of the Gospel is just your Christ, the Christ you are seeking, the Christ you need. “A man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”(Isa.32:2)
R. CAMPBELL
Sermons to Young Men

He is a Saviour. This figure of a rock, resisting drift, gives us some idea, not only of the commanding influence of Christ’s person, but of that special office from which all the glory of His person and of His name arises: that He saves His people from their sins...
He is ever living and interceding. Our earthly friends may die, but we shall never lose our best Friend. All merely human comforters will fail us sooner or later, but He will ever abide true and steadfast to all who rely upon Him.
He lives, the great Redeemer lives,—so His cause is always safe, and our safety is always secured in Him. Hide thyself, therefore, in the ever-living Man; for, there, thou needst not fear any change that the rolling ages may bring.

          Blessed be the name of Jesus, He is also the interceding Man; for, at this very moment, He is pleading for His people before His Father’s throne.

JAMES HASTINGS -1901

Isaiah

Saturday, December 2, 2017

1st Advent Devotional ~"Jesus revealed the preciousness & worth & winsome beauty of childhood."

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:10-12

A baby is a harmless thing
And wins our hearts with one accord,
And Flower of Babies was their King,
Jesus Christ our Lord:
Lily of lilies He
Upon His Mother’s knee;
Rose of roses, soon to be
Crowned with thorns on leafless tree.

A lamb is innocent and mild
And merry on the soft green sod;
And Jesus Christ, the Undefiled,
Is the Lamb of God:
Only spotless He
Upon His Mother’s knee;
White and ruddy, soon to be
Sacrificed for you and me.

Nay, lamb is not so sweet a word,
Nor lily half so pure a name;
Another name our hearts hath stirred,
Kindling them to flame:
‘Jesus’ certainly
Is music and melody:
Heart with heart in harmony
Carol we and worship we.

C.G. ROSSETTI
Poems -1886

By coming Himself a little child, our Lord forever glorified and sanctified childhood. Christmas is, par excellence, the children’s festival. It is the day when the children however far they may be scattered during the year, meet again around the family hearth and sit down again around the family table. When we begin to analyse our Christmas joy, it is amazing how largely it gathers round the children. And it is right that Christmas should be the children’s festival, for it is the anniversary of the discovery of the little child. Before Christ came child life was held of little account; infanticide was common; little children were flung out as rubbish and left to die. But Jesus became a little child, and by so doing revealed the preciousness and worth and winsome beauty of childhood. He put the crown upon the child’s head. What care is taken of him today. And what love is lavished upon him. When Christmas morning dawns, the child wakes to find himself surrounded with presents. He hung his stocking up overnight, and, sure enough, in the morning it is filled with good things. Santa Claus, we say in our make-believe way, visited his bedroom overnight, and brought him the gifts. But many of our children know better. They have begun to realize that father and mother are the real Santa Claus, and that it is they who have brought the presents. But another figure is standing behind father and mother—it is Jesus Christ. He is the true Santa Claus. He, and not St. Nicholas, is the ‘good fairy’ to whom the children owe all their Christmas joy and gladness. It is well, therefore, that Christmas Day should be made a happy day for the children. It is well that all that is brightest should be identified with the birthday of Jesus, for it was the coming of Jesus that exalted the child. Our children owe their happy homes, their parents’ love, their beautiful presents, all to the fact that when the shepherds went to Bethlehem long ago they found a Babe.
JAMES HASTINGS
The Gospel of Luke

The Christ of God we sing,
The Babe of Bethlehem!
And on His infant head we place
The royal diadem.
The crown of thorns is His,
That child of poverty,
Who on this earth of ours can find
No place His head to lay.
The crown of heaven is His,
And angels own him there.
The crown of earth shall yet be His,
And we that crown shall share.

HORATIUS BONAR

Christ My Song

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Devotional ~Giving Eternal Thanks for the Lamb of God


The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29

…and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:
​​“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
​​To receive power and riches and wisdom,
​​And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Revelation 5:11-12

Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding;
Christ is nigh, it seems to say,
Cast away the works of darkness,
O ye children of the day.

Wakened by the solemn warning
Let the earthbound soul arise;
Christ, her Sun, all ill dispelling,
Shines upon the morning skies.

Lo, the Lamb, so long expected,
Comes with pardon down from Heav’n;
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
One and all to be forgiven.

Honor, glory, might, and blessing
Be to God: the Father, Son
And the everlasting Spirit,
While eternal ages run.
6th Century Hymn

         I determined,” says Paul, “not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” That is the substance of a Christian’s faith and practice. In the Cross we learn all the power of sin, the intensity of our weakness, the far greater intensity of God’s Mercy. It is the all-prevailing witness of God’s Love, —the most powerful attraction to man’s heart. All graces are to be found therein, and it is the perfection of the interior life. The Cross is the substance of our faith, inasmuch as it sets before us the Only Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit of Mary, and thus embodying the doctrines of the Holy Trinity and of the Incarnation….Every precept which our Dear Lord has given us may be summed up in the doctrine of the Cross. It teaches us the power of sin, inasmuch as nothing less than the death of God made Man could crush that power, and atone for sin; —the intensity of our weakness, for what remedy could we have brought had Christ not vouchsafed to be our Propitiation?—the intensity of God’s Mercy—for “if He spared not His Son, shall He not also freely give us all things?” Can we meditate on these things and refuse the only return God asks of us—that we should love, serve and obey Him?
H.L. SIDNEY LEAR
The Hidden Life of the Soul


He is the Lamb of God. For He is provided by God. The words have reference to an abiding element in God Himself. The Lamb of God belongs as much to the eternal essence of God as His glory, His righteousness, His truth, and His love. And for us, and perhaps for all worlds, this is the most wonderful and entrancing name of all. The highest praise we can offer to God is to sing, “Worthy is the Lamb!” Put emphasis on the words, “of God.” There you strike the distinctive feature of this sacrifice, and of the religion which it created. The difference between Christianity and all other religions lies in these two words. In other religions man provides his sacrifice for his god. In Christianity God provides the sacrifice for man. Christ comes forth out of the heart of God.
JOSEPH PARKER
John

He takes away the sin of the world; purchases pardon for all those that repent, and believe the gospel, of what country, nation, or language, whosoever they be. This is encouraging to our faith; if Christ takes away the sin of the world, then why not my sin? Christ leveled His force at the main body of sin's army, struck at the root, and aimed at the overthrow, of that wickedness which the whole world lay in. God was in Him reconciling the world to Himself.
He does this by taking it upon Himself. He is the Lamb of God, that bears the sin of the world. He bore sin for us, and so bears it from us.
 That it is our duty, with an eye of faith, to behold the Lamb of God thus taking away the sin of the world. Let it increase our love to Christ, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, Rev. 1:5.
MATTHEW HENRY
Book of John

Jesus Christ is King forever! The throne of heaven is the throne of God and of the Lamb! His dominion over nature always appears, to me, a delightful contemplation. I like to think of the sea roaring and the floods clapping their hands in His praise. He it is who makes the fields joyful and the trees of the forest glad. His pencil paints the varied hues of the flowers and His breath perfumes them. Every cloud floats over the sky blown by the breath of His mouth. Lord of all the realms of life and death, His providence runs without knot or break through all the tangled skeins of time. The Lord reigns and of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end!
Beloved, we see before us the grandeur of God and the gentleness of a lamb! The infinite Creator and the innocent creature are linked together in lovely union. You do not come to a finite helper when you draw near to Christ. In trusting to the merit of His blood, you have an all-prevalent plea and full security for pardon, peace and acceptance. You come to the throne of the Lamb and that throne of the Lamb is the throne of God!  All the riches of the glory of God are treasured up in Christ Jesus and Christ has all this wealth to bestow upon His redeemed family.
SPURGEON
Sermons

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Harvestime Devotional ~"...your Heavenly Father is stronger than the tempest..."



And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
Mark 4:37-39

"Stormy wind fulfilling His word." Psalm 148:8

Send out Thy Light, the way is dark before me,
The path Thy Love has moulded out for me;
Send out Thy Light, that I may see Thy Footsteps,
 Calming the waters of life's restless sea.

Send out Thy Light, the clouds are dark above me,
Gathering in tempest from the angry sea;
Send out Thy Light, that I may see the storm-drops
Which fall from the dear Hand once pierced for me.

Send out Thy Light, and lead me, Father, lead me
Beyond this darkness, sorrow, and unrest;
Send out Thy Light, and guide me, worn and weary,
To the calm shelter of my Saviour's Breast.
W.S. SMITH

Stormy winds come not without mercy and blessing. There is music in the blast if we listen aright. Is there no music in the heart of sorrow that the Lord of all has chosen for His own? Are you not nearer to the Master, have you not grown in faith, in patience, in prayerfulness, in thankful hope, since the time the storm winds first sighed across your life?
It is no small matter to grow nearer to God; it is worth all the tempest your soul has known. The heart of the Lord was yearning over you, and could not be satisfied till His winds had driven your soul entirely into the refuge and protection of His love.
Do not tremble because of the winds of the future; your Lord will be living and loving tomorrow, even as He lives and loves today; and no storm waits in your path but shall leave behind another record that your Heavenly Father is stronger than the tempest, nearer than the grief.
We are traveling home to that beauteous shore where the chill winds never sweep, the hurricane makes no moan; yet, amid the rest of the painless Homeland, shall we not love the Lord a thousandfold more for every storm of earth in which He drew near to us, saying, "Fear not," and held us by the hand, and tenderly bore us through the hour that seemed the darkest? We shall glorify Him then that He has been to us, again and again, a covert from the blast; but let us not wait to glorify Him till the blast is over. Even now let us give thanks that all the winds of life—the rough ones as well as those that blow from the south—are of His appointing. Whose every purpose is for our eternal gain.
Set your thoughts, not on the storm, but on the Love that rules the storm; then the winds of trouble shall no longer seem as sad and restless voices, but as an ├ćolian harp attuned to peace, to hope, to everlasting victory.

T. MORE


Delacroix 1798 – 1863