FAITH GROWS AMID THE STORMS

Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10).

Faith grows amid storms“–just four words, but oh, how full of import to the soul who has been in the storms!

Faith is that God-given faculty which, when exercised, brings the unseen into plain view, and by which the impossible things are made possible. It deals with supernaturals.

But it “grows amid storms”; that is, where there are disturbances in the spiritual atmosphere. Storms are caused by the conflicts of elements, and the storms of the spiritual world are conflicts with hostile elements.

In such an atmosphere faith finds its most productive soil; in such an element it comes more quickly to full fruition.

The staunchest tree is not found in the shelter of the forest, but out in the open where the winds from every quarter beat upon it, and bend and twist it until it becomes a giant in stature this is the tree which the mechanic wants his tools made of, and the wagon-maker seeks.

So in the spiritual world, when you see a giant, remember the road you must travel to come up to his side is not along the sunny lane where wildflowers ever bloom; but a steep, rocky, narrow pathway where the blasts of hell will almost blow you off your feet; where the sharp rocks cut the flesh, where the projecting thorns scratch the brow, and the venomous beasts hiss on every side.

It is a pathway of sorrow and joy, of suffering and healing balm, of tears and smiles, of trials and victories, of conflicts and triumphs, of hardships and perils and buffetings, of persecutions and misunderstandings, of troubles and distress; through all of which we are made more than conquerors through Him who loves us.

“Amid storms.” Right in the middle where it is fiercest. You may shrink back from the ordeal of a fierce storm of trial…but go in! God is there to meet you in the center of all your trials, and to whisper His secrets which will make you come forth with a shining face and an indomitable faith that all the demons of hell shall never afterward cause to waver.

WE NEED MINOR KEYS

Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (Ephesians 5:20).

      No matter what the source of the evil, if you are in God and surrounded by Him as by an atmosphere, all evil has to pass through Him before it comes to you. Therefore you can thank God for everything that comes, not for the sin of it, but for what God will bring out of it and through it. May God make our lives thanksgiving and perpetual praise, then He will make everything a blessing.

We once saw a man draw some black dots. We looked and could make nothing of them but an irregular assemblage of black dots. Then he drew a few lines, put in a few rests, then a clef at the beginning, and we saw these black dots were musical notes. On sounding them we were singing, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below.”

There are many black dots and black spots in our lives, and we cannot understand why they are there or why God permitted them to come. But if we let God come into our lives, and adjust the dots in the proper way, and draw the lines He wants, and separate this from that, and put in the rests at the proper places; out of the black dots and spots in our lives, He will make a glorious harmony. Let us not hinder Him in this glorious work!

“Would we know that the major chords were sweet if there was no minor key? Would the painter’s work be fair to our eyes, Without shade on land or sea?

“Would we know the meaning of happiness, Would we feel that the day was bright if we’d never known what it was to grieve, Nor gazed on the dark of night?”

Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.

When the musician presses the black keys on the great organ, the music is as sweet as when he touches the white ones, but to get the capacity of the instrument he must touch them all.

HOPE THOU IN GOD

Hope Thou in God

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” Psalm 42:5

The psalmist here is not talking to an audience. He is talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Hope thou in God.” That is one of the habits of the saints, and it is always a highly profitable habit. It means that we look squarely in the face the things that are lurking in the shadows. And very generally when we do that, with the fears and despondencies that haunt us, things prove not so desperate as they seemed. We all know how in the dead of night the slightest noise is apt to startle us. Imagination riots in the darkness. But we smile when we switch on the light and find the footstep is only a creaking board and the knocking only the flapping of a blind.

So also with the soul, formless fears are always the worst fears. Nameless and undefined despondencies are often the most depressing of despondencies. And just to face them and drag them to the light and manfully charge them to declare themselves, is very often the springboard to new tranquility. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Come, my soul, answer me that question! Stand there and be interrogated! Give thy reasons! Why art thou cast down? Very generally when one does that, things prove so much less hopeless than they seemed that the soul describes the glimmerings of the morning.

Now many people, when they read these words, are apt to interpret them erroneously. They regard them as a call to trust, but that is scarcely the meaning of the words. When I trust a person, I do more than hope. When I hope, I do less than trust. To hope in God is, therefore, something different from a feeble and attenuated trust. It is to base every hope that burns within us on the profound recognition that God is. Base your hope, whatever your hope may be–and hopes are of a thousand different kinds–on the recognition that God reigns, and that God, the God of the whole Bible, a Father infinitely loving, has been revealed to us in the Lord Jesus. If that is false, if there is no such Being, our sweetest hopes are mockeries. We have nothing to build on but the sand. Our hopes may come to ruin at any moment. But if God is and we are sure of that, surer than we are of our hands or feet, then there is hope for us and for the world. Hope, my soul, because there is a God–that is what the psalmist really means. Hope, because He reigns. Hope, because He is on the throne. Hope, because He cares for you and loves you; because He cares for all the world and loves the world; because He so loved the world that He gave Jesus.

The Future

Now, let us apply that thought a little in relation to the future of our race. We have many gloomy prophets in the world today who think our race is hurrying to ruin. They study history and find no hope in history. They deny the reality of progress and have lost all hope of civilization. Education, men had hope in that. Civilization, they had hope in that. The increase of dialogue among the nations, men put their hope in that. And then the war came wrecking hopes just as it wrecked cathedrals, and all these rosy, radiant hopes were as houses built upon the sand. What a wise book the Bible is. How it rejects and refuses shallow hopes. It never says to us, “Hope thou in education.” It says, “My soul, hope thou in God.” Base thy hope on the fact that He is reigning and moving on in His eternal purposes to an end that shall be fair as a perfect day.

Consider the years that lie ahead, hidden in the shadows of the future. For some, the prospect is very dark and frightening. Will your health hold out? So much depends on that for yourself and your wife and children. Will your powers hold out, or someday will they give? Will your loved ones all be spared to you? My dear friends, brothers and sisters, no hope that is worth anything rests upon contingencies like these. It rests upon the certainty of God. He reigns. He knows you and He loves you. In His eyes, you are infinitely precious. If you ascend up into heaven, He is there; if you make your bed in hell, He is there. Would it not tarnish the glory of His Name if for a single hour in all the future He were to leave you or forsake you? My soul, hope thou in God. Base your hope of the future upon God. Base it on nothing else and nothing less. Everything else and less is but contingency. Build on the sand, and though the sand is made of gold when the storm comes everything may perish. But who is a rock like unto our Rock?

The Hope of Immortality

Lastly, think of the hope of immortality and of the joy and rest and liberty of heaven when life shall flower to full perfection and we shall meet our loved ones again. That hope is in every human heart, and the question is what do you base it? Well, you may base it on the inward longing, or on the imperfection of our present being, or on the fact that there is so much on board that is not wanted for the voyage. But when the lights burn low and no argument can silence the questioning, “My soul, hope thou in God.” Base your eternal hope on the life and love and promises of God. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. No mother would let death rob her of her child if her power were equal to her love, and with Him, love and power are alike infinite.