Praising Him in the storms may not seem easy….try it and feel the burdens lift.
Praising Him in the storms may not seem easy….try it and feel the burdens lift.
Jesus cried. JOHN 11:35
Jesus … weeps. He sits between Mary and Martha, puts an arm around each, and sobs … He weeps with them. He weeps for them.
He weeps with you.
He weeps for you.
He weeps so we will know: Mourning is not disbelieving. Flooded eyes don’t represent a faithless heart. A person can enter a cemetery Jesus-certain of life after death and still have a Twin Tower crater in the heart.Christ did. He wept, and he knew he was ten minutes from seeing a living Lazarus!
And his tears give you permission to shed your own. Grief does not mean you don’t trust; it simply means you can’t stand the thought of another day without the Lazarus of your life. If Jesus gave the love, he understands the tears. So grieve, but don’t grieve like those who don’t know the rest of this story.
from NEXT DOOR SAVIOR
I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. PSALM 139:14
Antonio Stradivari was a seventeenth-century violin maker whose name in its Latin form, Stradivarius, has become synonymous with excellence. He once said that to make a violin less than his best would be to rob God, who could not make Antonio Stradivari’s violins without Antonio.
He was right. God could not make Stradivarius violins without Antonio Stradivari. Certain gifts were given to that craftsman that no other violin maker possessed.
In the same vein, there are certain things you can do that no one else can. Perhaps it is parenting, or constructing houses, or encouraging the discouraged. There are things that only you can do, and you are alive to do them. In the great orchestra we call life, you have an instrument and a song, and you owe it to God to play them both sublimely.
The Applause of Heaven
“Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4)
It is a thrilling exercise to note all the holy and gracious attributes attached to the name of God by the writers of Holy Scripture. In our text, for example, taken from the song of Moses, God is called a “God of truth.” According to the prophet Isaiah, the Lord is a “God of judgment” (Isaiah 30:18).
David called God both the “God of my righteousness” and “the God of salvation” (Psalms 4:1; 68:20).
In the New Testament, Stephen called Him “the God of glory” (Acts 7:2). Paul called Him both “the God of hope” and “the God of patience and consolation” (Romans 15:5, 13) when he wrote to the persecuted believers in the great capital of the Roman Empire.
To the carnal Christians in Corinth, He was called “the God of all comfort” and “the God of love and peace” (2 Corinthians 1:3; 13:11), and to the suffering believers in Philippi, Paul identified Him as “the God of peace” (Philippians 4:9).
The apostle Peter called Him “the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10), and the writer of Hebrews recognized Him as both “God the judge of all” and “the God of peace” (Hebrews 12:23; 13:20).
Our God is, indeed, the God who is all in all to His people. He is the God of truth and righteousness, of peace and love, of patience and comfort, of hope and grace, glory, and salvation. “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints” (Revelation 15:3). Is He, above all, “Lord of all” in us who know Him? HMM
“Like a shock of corn fully ripe.” (Job 5:26.)
A GENTLEMAN, writing about the breaking up of old ships, recently said that it is not the age alone which improves the quality of the fiber in the wood of an old vessel, but the straining and wrenching of the vessel by the sea, the chemical action of the bilge water, and of many kinds of cargoes.
Some planks and veneers made from an oak beam which had been part of a ship eighty years old were exhibited a few years ago at a fashionable furniture store on Broadway, New York, and attracted general notice for the exquisite coloring and beautiful grain.
Equally striking were some beams of mahogany taken from a bark which sailed the seas sixty years ago. The years and the traffic had contracted the pores and deepened the color, until it looked as superb in its chromatic intensity as an antique Chinese vase. It was made into a cabinet, and has today a place of honor in the drawing-room of a wealthy New York family.
So there is a vast difference between the quality of old people who have lived flabby, selfindulgent, useless lives, and the fiber of those who have sailed all seas and carried all cargoes as the servants of God and the helpers of their fellow men.
Not only the wrenching and straining of life, but also something of the sweetness of the cargoes carried get into the very pores and fiber of character.—Louis Albert Banks.
When the sun goes below the horizon he is not set; the heavens glow for a full hour after his departure. And when a great and good man sets, the sky of this world is luminous long after he is out of sight. Such a man cannot die out of this world. When he goes he leaves behind him much of himself. Being dead, he speaks.—Beecher.
When Victor Hugo was past eighty years of age he gave expression to his religious faith in these sublime sentences: “I feel in myself the future life. I am like a forest which has been more than once cut down. The new shoots are livelier than ever. I am rising toward the sky. The sunshine is on my head. The earth gives me its generous sap, but Heaven lights me with its unknown worlds.
“You say the soul is nothing but the resultant of the bodily powers. Why, then, is my soul more luminous when my bodily powers begin to fail? Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart. I breathe at this hour the fragrance of the lilacs, the violets, and the roses as at twenty years. The nearer I approach the end the plainer I hear around me the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me. It is marvelous, yet simple.”
“Who healeth all thy diseases.” Psalm 103:3
Humbling as is the statement, yet the fact is certain, that we are all more or less suffering under the disease of sin. What a comfort to know that we have a great Physician who is both able and willing to heal us! Let us think of Him awhile to-night. His cures are very speedy—there is life in a look at Him; His cures are radical—He strikes at the centre of the disease; and hence, His cures are sure and certain. He never fails, and the disease never returns. There is no relapse where Christ heals; no fear that His patients should be merely patched up for a season, He makes new men of them: a new heart also does He give them, and a right spirit does He put with them.
He is well skilled in all diseases. Physicians generally have some specialite. Although they may know a little about almost all our pains and ills, there is usually one disease which they haven studied above all others; but Jesus Christ is thoroughly acquainted with the whole of human nature. He is as much at home with one sinner as with another, and never yet did He meet with an out-of-the-way case that was difficult to Him. He has had extraordinary complications of strange diseases to deal with, but He has known exactly with one glance of His eye how to treat the patient.
He is the only universal doctor; and the medicine He gives is the only true catholicon, healing in every instance. Whatever our spiritual malady may be, we should apply at once to this Divine Physician. There is no brokenness of heart which Jesus cannot bind up. “His blood cleanseth from all sin.” We have but to think of the myriads who have been delivered from all sorts of diseases through the power and virtue of His touch, and we shall joyfully put ourselves in His hands. We trust Him, and sin dies; we love Him, and grace lives; we wait for Him and grace is strengthened; we see Him as he is, and grace is perfected for ever.
“The king also himself passed over the brook Kidron.” 2 Samuel 15:23
David passed that gloomy brook when flying with his mourning company from his traitor son. The man after God’s own heart was not exempt from trouble, nay, his life was full of it. He was both the Lord’s Anointed, and the Lord’s Afflicted. Why then should we expect to escape? At sorrow’s gates the noblest of our race have waited with ashes on their heads, wherefore then should we complain as though some strange thing had happened unto us?
The KING of kings himself was not favoured with a more cheerful or royal road. He passed over the filthy ditch of Kidron, through which the filth of Jerusalem flowed. God had one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod. It is a great joy to believe that Jesus has been tempted in all points like as we are. What is our Kidron this morning? Is it a faithless friend, a sad bereavement, a slanderous reproach, a dark foreboding? The King has passed over all these.
Is it bodily pain, poverty, persecution, or contempt? Over each of these Kidrons the King has gone before us. “In all our afflictions He was afflicted.” The idea of strangeness in our trials must be banished at once and for ever, for He who is the Head of all saints, knows by experience the grief which we think so peculiar. All the citizens of Zion must be free of the Honourable Company of Mourners, of which the Prince Immanuel is Head and Captain.
Notwithstanding the abasement of David, he yet returned in triumph to his city, and David’s Lord arose victorious from the grave; let us then be of good courage, for we also shall win the day. We shall yet with joy draw water out of the wells of salvation, though now for a season we have to pass by the noxious streams of sin and sorrow. Courage, soldiers of the Cross, the King himself triumphed after going over Kidron, and so shall you.