“GOD MEANT IT UNTO GOOD” (Gen. 50:20).

“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

My Advocate

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

Rejoice In The Lord

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

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.

So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.
– Will­iam Cow­per2374575

– Good Grief! –

Psalm 119:71,
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”
We often respond to various situations with the exclamation, “Good Grief!” If we stopped to think for a moment, is grief really that good? The Bible suggests that grief can be “good” if we respond with faith and obedience to the Lord in the midst of our grief.
The following are a few ways that grief can actually benefit us and be good:
  • 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.
Some of the greatest, sweetest, most mature and godly Christians I have ever met have been dear folks who have gone through some of the most overwhelming grief and heartache. But, they trusted God, gave themselves to be a blessing to others that were hurting, saw God’s hand in their hardship and became better people and Christians as a result of their grief. It truly was, “good grief” for them and can be for you and I.

WITH THEE

O Master, let me walk with Thee;
I fear to journey on alone;
The night is dark, no star I see,
The path is steep and edged with stone.
Then, Master, let me hold Thy hand,
For like a child I halt in fear;
I dread the unknown path beyond,
I dread the step before me near.

O Master, let me walk with Thee
When sorrows deep my spirit rend,
When naught but empty grief I see,
Be Thou my never-failing Friend.
And, Master, when temptations sweep
Like storms of night across my way,
My faith renew, my spirit keep,
Guide to a brighter, better day.

O Master, I would walk with Thee!
Though dark the way, what need I more?
Thy rod—Thy staff, they comfort me,
For Thou hast walked this path before.
Yea, Master, let me walk with Thee,
Then shall I reach the goal at length;
In Thee my confidence shall be,
In Thee my joy, my peace, my strength.

— Kathryn Blackburn Peck, in Herald of Holiness.

THREE THINGS I ADMIRE ABOUT THE DEVIL

sitting-cartoon-devil

 

Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not commending the Devil in any way, but there are three characteristics of our enemy that can have positive applications.

1.  HE ISN’T STUPID.
What I mean by that is, he is pretty smart at what he does.
He has obviously studied the Scriptures diligently and is very clever at twisting God’s Word to suit his own agenda.  Any time you have the Devil, or one of his allies, quoting Scripture – watch out!  If only present day Christians had the working knowledge of the Scriptures that the Devil does, we wouldn’t fall for his schemes nearly so often.
He knows our weaknesses.  He has apparently studied mankind for thousands of years, and he knows how to get to our weak spots.  He has gotten serious “shots” in on God’s greatest men, and has brought down many of God’s mighty warriors.
We must never think that we can out-wit or out-smart the Devil. He will get us every time. He is not to be played with, but simply resisted.  Don’t underestimate his ability to trip us up and destroy our lives.
2.  HE DOESN’T’ QUIT.
His tenacity is overwhelming.  The Devil absolutely will not quit.
He’ll come back after you again and again and again.  We must never be fooled into thinking we have resisted the Devil “once and for all.”  His assaults will continue throughout our time here on the earth.
Notice in Scripture that many of Satan’s victories over God’s men have been in their later years.  David was most likely in his 50’s when he committed adultery with Bathsheba, Jonah & Balaam were both seasoned prophets when they compromised & disobeyed God.
We must never think we have outgrown the Devil’s attacks or that we are so strong spiritually that we are no longer susceptible to his devises.
3.  HE WORKS HARD.
Without a doubt, the Devil is one of the hardest working beings in all of history.
He never takes a vacation, never takes a day off, works at foiling God’s will 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Thus, we must never let our guard down.  We must be sober and diligent, because our adversary, the Devil is hard at work, doing everything he can to bring shame and reproach to the name of Jesus.
Do not interpret the above statements to indicate any favorable attitude on my part toward Satan.  He is a liar, a murderer, and the ultimate blasphemer, nevertheless, we must be aware of these three characteristics of Satan, and perhaps seek to incorporate them into our service for the Lord and the Gospel.
Don’t let the Devil get the victory in your life!!