How do you feel when you see others receiving blessings you feel have been denied you? What do you do when your faithfulness to the Lord is met not with granted requests but with frustrated plans and deferred hopes? Do you patiently wait upon the Lord and trust his love for you, or do you grow bitter? Do you rejoice with those who are rejoicing, or do you resent those who possess what you desire?
The hearts of men may not detect
Distinctions ‘twixt a noble trait
And meaner ones. They thus effect
No proper fight against the state
Of their impurity. But God
Knows well what yet resides within
The cage of bone and flesh. His rod
Gives direction and discipline
To wayward men that they may be
Saved from their state of sinfulness.
Corruption, at his word, must flee
(Proximity of holiness).
So fear not God’s refining fire,
Let go the inexcusable,
Follow the path out from the mire,
And trust the holy crucible.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
How can I comfort those who mourn
Unless I learn to mourn myself?
For fellowship with those forlorn,
I must be taken from the shelf.
For there I sat so safe and calm,
But there I also gathered dust.
If this, my life, would be a balm,
Then I must learn that God is just
Not just in times of peace and rest,
But in my sorrow, sickness, strife.
If I would follow heaven’s best,
I will not have an easy life.
But through my broken heart, he speaks,
And through my suff’ring, Christ is seen.
If soon, with death, my body reeks,
My soul, by grace through faith, is clean.
So why would I avoid the pain
If, through the turmoil, faith is grown?
The struggle leads to priceless gain
As man’s despair is overthrown.
All things do work together for
The good of those He called in love,
And though we walk the road of war,
God reigns in sov’reignty above.
Sometimes – nay, often – man has absolutely no idea of what God is doing. And I’m beginning to understand that the tension brought upon our faith by our ignorance of God’s plan is, in some cases, the best place for us to be as we seek to know him better.
What God has spoken then
Seems lost before the now,
The call to enter in
Eclipsed before the how.
The weight of life doth wear
Upon the focused brow,
But God knows ev’ry care.
He ever keeps his vow.
So trust we now our King
And hope in his command
And with the angels sing,
For he has made us stand.
We do not face his wrath-
For we now walk his path,
The purpose he hath planned.
Though circumstances prod,
Fulfilment we shall see,
In spite of shield or sword
Or strong desire to flee.
Thus says the Lord our God,
And thus it comes to be.
The promise of the Lord-
Last Friday night, I left the house where my parents and brother live and headed home to the seminary. As I was driving to the apartment, my parents were driving my younger brother to the emergency room.
Is God still good when I have been so wrong?
Or when I’m wronged, does love still win the day?
I read that he’s been with me all along,
But can it be when pain and sorrow stay?
Or might it be that his exalted might
Is meant not to pluck out but to uphold?
And could it be my eyes so weak of sight
Cannot perceive his plan of ages old?
Could he be working all things for my good
Although it seems that he is nowhere near?
Is this my furnace, this my cross of wood,
That shows me through my death that God is here?
How can I then bemoan the fiercest throes,
The holy forging, sanctifying blows?
The tragedies and maladies of life
All serve a saving purpose for the saint
For struggles that surmount a life with strife
Become the hues with which our Lord doth paint
O’er ev’ry evil, Elohim prevails
Effulgent Savior, holy thaumaturge
From death’s embrace, the true Messiah hails
And makes what brought despair to heal and purge
Now watch as broken daughters rise to dance
Now see as sickly sons stand up to praise
The vilest horrors help to fix our stance
The worst oppression only lifts the haze
No pow’r is held by any enemy
All things do work as one for good to me