O troubled soul, beneath the rod,
Thy Father speaks, be still, be still;
Learn to be silent unto God,
And let Him mould thee to His will.
O praying soul, be still, be still,
He cannot break His plighted Word;
Sink down into His blessed will,
And wait in patience on the Lord.
O waiting soul, be still, be strong,
And though He tarry, trust and wait;
Doubt not, He will not wait too long,
Fear not, He will not come too late.
“God meant it unto good”—O blest assurance,
Falling like sunshine all across life’s way,
Touching with Heaven’s gold earth’s darkest storm clouds,
Bringing fresh peace and comfort day by day.
’Twas not by chance the hands of faithless brethren
Sold Joseph captive to a foreign land;
Nor was it chance which, after years of suffering,
Brought him before the monarch’s throne to stand.
One Eye all-seeing saw the need of thousands,
And planned to meet it through that one lone soul;
And through the weary days of prison bondage
Was working towards the great and glorious goal.
As yet the end was hidden from the captive,
The iron entered even to his soul;
His eye could scan the present path of sorrow,
Not yet his gaze might rest upon the whole.
Faith failed not through those long, dark days of waiting,
His trust in God was recompensed at last,
The moment came when God led forth his servant
To succour many, all his sufferings past.
“It was not you but God, that sent me hither,”
Witnessed triumphant faith in after days;
“God meant it unto good,” no “second causes”
Mingled their discord with his song of praise.
“God means it unto good” for thee, beloved,
The God of Joseph is the same today;
His love permits afflictions strange and bitter,
His hand is guiding through the unknown way.
Thy Lord, who sees the end from the beginning,
Hath purposes for thee of love untold.
Then place thy hand in His and follow fearless,
Till thou the riches of His grace behold.
There, when thou standest in the Home of Glory,
And all life’s path ties open to thy gaze,
Thine eyes shall see the hand which now thou trustest,
And magnify His love through endless days.
—Freda Hanbury Allen
“Let me see this world, dear Lord,
As though I were looking through Your eyes.
A world of men who don’t want You Lord,
But a world for which You died.
Let me kneel with You in the garden,
Blur my eyes with tears of agony;
For if once I could see this world the way You see,
I just know I’d serve You more faithfully.
Let me see this world, dear Lord,
Through Your eyes when men mocked Your Holy Name.
When they beat You and spat upon You, Lord,
Let me love them as You loved them just the same.
Let me stand high above my petty problems,
And grieve for men, hell bound eternally;
For if once I could see this world the way You see,
I just know I’d serve You more faithfully.”
I sinned. And straightway, post-haste, Satan flew
Before the presence of the Most High God,
And made a the railing accusation there.
He said, “This soul, this thing of clay and sod,
Has sinned. ‘Tis true that he has named Thy name,
But I demand death, for Thou hast said,
‘The soul that sinneth, it shall die.’ Shall not
Thy sentence be fulfilled? Is justice dead?
Send now this wretched sinner to his doom.
What other thing can righteous ruler do?”
And thus he did accuse me day and night,
And every word he spoke, O God, was true!
Then quickly One rose up from God’s right hand,
Before whose glory angels veiled their eyes.
He spoke, “Each jot and tittle of the law
Must be fulfilled: the guilty sinner dies!
But wait—suppose his guilt were all transferred
To ME and that I paid his penalty!
Behold My hands, My side, My feet! One day
I was made sin for him, and died that he
Might be presented faultless, at Thy throne!”
And Satan fled away. Full well he knew
That he could not prevail against such love,
For every word my dear Lord spoke was true!
—Martha Snell Nicholson
God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.
I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.
Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.
O Rejoice in the LORD He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.
– Ron Hamilton
O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!
Where is the blessedness I knew,
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view
Of Jesus and His Word?
What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill.
Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn
And drove Thee from my breast.
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”
- If it prompts me to examine my spiritual health and my walk with the Lord.
Though we understand that not all grief is the result of personal sin, yet sin does cause grief. When we are going through affliction (“grief”), it is wise to first do a spiritual “self-examination” and make sure that I am not bringing this difficulty upon myself. In 1 Corinthians 11 God’s Word states that many in the church there were “weak and sickly” and that some had even died because they were taking part in the Lord’s supper “unworthily.” God’s instruction was for them to “examine” themselves. How much heartache and grief in our lives could be avoided it we would be careful to maintain a humble and godly walk with the Lord.
- If it provokes me to help and encourage others going through difficult times.
As stated above, much of the grief and trials in life are not necessarily the result of personal sin, yet God allows us to go through very trying times. 2 Corinthians 1:3-6 tells us that the comfort God gives us in times of heartache and grief is to be shared with others going through hardships. The grief we face in life is designed to help us sympathize and help others that are going through difficulties.
- If it prepares me for greater service for the Lord.
A.W. Tozer said, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” I might modify that statement a bit to read, “It is doubtful whether God can [use] a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” Of course, God can use anyone who will fully yield to Him in faith and obedience, but it seems that those whom God uses in great ways to help others are folks who have been through heartaches and grief. Read the biographies of the great men and women of God throughout church history and I believe you will find this to be true.
- If it clears my perspective of God’s holiness, love and power
It is often when my eyes are filled with tears of grief that my perception of God’s love, wisdom, holiness, and power is clearest.
- If I recognize the presence of God in the midst of my grief.
Psalm 46:1 states, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” If in our times of trouble we become self-centered and indulge in self-pity (“woe is me! Nobody has it as bad a me!”) then we’ll miss the very real and special presence of God. The Bible is clear, a broken and contrite heart, the Lord will not despise.