Monday, April 15, 2013

It Will Pass

Psalm 107:25 – “For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.”

One Sunday evening after a terrible storm had passed through, I heard Brian Galloway of the Galloway Family give this testimony:  “I’ll never forget – probably a year after I got saved – I heard an old man of God that I became well acquainted with by the name of Claude Nicholson.  Brother Claude was just old school – never really preached with an outline – just your typical mountain type preacher – I don’t think I’ve ever even seen him wear a tie.  But the old man knew God.  I remember him making a statement one time and it stuck with me.  He said concerning a storm that there are three sides to a storm.
He said that there’s Our side to a storm – and it’s a dismal side.  You get in a storm like we were in on our way to church tonight and you can’t see that well.  And that’s the way storms are – You just can’t see – It’s hard to make decisions in a storm.  
But he said not only is there our side of the storm, he said there is an Omniscient side to the storm.  “For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind,” the psalmist says in Psalms 107:25.  And God’s got the proper perspective on this thing.  If you get in an airplane and travel miles up, it’s pretty clear up there.  You can see pretty good, and if you get the divine perspective on things you can see well.  And although we’re down here ringing our hands trying to figure out what to do with the next move and trying to make dangling ends meet, God’s not got a panic button, you know.  And I’m having to remind myself of that all the time – to just be patient in a storm – and it’s tough.  Patience is an uncomplaining endurance of an extreme annoyance – I looked it up one time.  I don’t have a whole lot of that, to be quite honest with you, but that’s the purpose in a storm.  God puts us in a storm to produce patience in us. 
But there’s those two sides, our side and the omniscient side of the storm – but thank God there’s the Other side of a storm.  Storms come and go.  I’m like the old preacher who said, “My favorite phrase in the Bible is ‘and it came to pass.’”  I’m glad some things didn’t come to stay, aren’t you?  “And it came to pass” – I don’t know what kind of storm you’re in – I don’t know what you’re facing tonight.  But you just hang onto God and endeavor to get the perspective of God, seek wisdom in that thing, and I can assure you that somewhere here soon there’s going to be a rainbow spring out.  That right!  I’m glad I’m saved tonight!  I’m glad I’ve got a God I can trust in when we go through a storm!”  The Galloway Family then sang this song:

It Will Pass

See the storm, Do not fear it.
Hear the winds, now don’t you be alarmed.
If your soul can bear the sorrow,
There’s bound to be a rainbow Right after the storm.

And it will pass, the Son will break through.
Clouds will roll back like the sea.
And it will pass, oh soul be patient.
Oh how sweet the victory.

O soul be calm, Just rest in his keeping. 
Never you fear, for our God’s in control.
And He rides the wind and He’ll chart your vessel
And He will calm those billows that are tossing your soul.

And it will pass, the Son will break through.
Clouds will roll back like the sea.
And it will pass, oh soul be patient.
Oh how sweet the victory.

Quote - "But this is the point, dear brothers and sisters - no soul that rests in Jesus will ever be wrecked. You may have the tempests and tossings, but you will come to land; be sure of that." - C. H Spurgeon

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Persistence in Prayer

Luke 18:1 – “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

It is not special, so much as steady effort, that wins. A very little girl attempted to carry a ton of coal, a shovelful at a time, from the sidewalk to a bin in the cellar. An observer asked her, “Do you expect to get all that coal in with that little shovel?” “Yes sir,” she answered, “if I work long enough.” That little girl had the true philosophy of success. Persistence is a quality which is essential to success. Thousands are making failures in life, who would succeed if they “worked long enough.” Don’t give up because you find mountains in your way. Step by step you can scale them. All you have to do is keep stepping.

That’s what the widow in Luke 18 found out. Christ used her as an example of persistence in prayer. She was having a problem – and the judge that she brought the problem to was not much help – he kept putting her off. So she kept coming back to him insisting that he solve her problem – she came back so much that he handled her case just to get rid of her. Now the point that Christ makes is that this unjust judge did the right thing just because of her persistence – how much more does God take pleasure in answering our prayers speedily because of His love for us. But sometimes He may delay His answering of the prayer – to try our faith – to glorify Himself – or for some other reason. But Christ asks in verse 8, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Persistence in prayer reveals faith in the prayer.

Christ teaches us this concept by example. Look in Mark 14 – there Christ goes into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He takes with Him Peter, James, and John and leaves them in the garden to pray while He goes a little farther to pray alone. We see in this passage that Christ asks of the Father a particular request – “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt (vs. 36).” Christ was not asking to be delivered of the death He was about to die – that was His very purpose for coming to earth. He knew that when He was on the cross, God would have to turn His back on Him and He would be all alone on the cross. Oh, what torment He was suffering, knowing that soon He would be forsaken of God, all alone on the cruel cross. But He was willing to endure that shame, “for the joy that was set before him (He 12:2).” Three times He prayed the same thing, but was willing to bow to the Father’s Will. Persistence in prayer sometimes results in a “No” answer.

In this passage, we see a third lesson. Our text verse says, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” In the instance above, Christ took the inner circle of His disciples into the garden with Him to pray. He instructed them to pray while He went farther to pray. When He returned, they were asleep – the most important night of His life and they couldn’t stay awake long enough to pray. He told them in verse 34, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.” But they slept. He rebuked Peter saying, “Couldest thou not watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest thou enter into temptation.” He went again to pray – when He returned, they slept again, but had no answer for Him. He went a third time and returned, only to find them asleep again. They could not abide by that small phrase “And not to faint.” Who knows what they missed because of their inability to persist in prayer. Persistence in prayer usually brings great blessing.

Quote – “God always answers prayer. He sometimes answers with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ or a ‘later’.” – Unknown.

"He Knows My Name" - MVBC Young Ladies Trio

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