– 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.

Oh, Wonderful Word!

Oh, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
True wisdom its pages unfold;
And though we may read them a thousand times o’er,
They never, no never, grow old!
Each line hath a treasure, each promise a pearl,
That all if they will may secure;
And we know that when time and the world pass away,
God’s Word shall forever endure.

Oh, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
The lamp that our Father above
So kindly has lighted to teach us the way
That leads to the arms of His love!
Its warnings, its counsels, are faithful and just;
Its judgments are perfect and pure;
And we know that when time and the world pass away,
God’s Word shall forever endure.

Oh, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
Our only salvation is there;
It carries conviction down deep in the heart,
And shows us ourselves as we are.
It tells of a Savior, and points to the cross,
Where pardon we now may secure;
For we know that when time and the world pass away,
God’s Word shall forever endure.

Oh, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
The hope of our friends in the past;
Its truth, where so firmly they anchored their trust,
Through ages eternal shall last.
Oh, wonderful, wonderful Word of the Lord!
Unchanging, abiding and sure;
For we know that when time and the world pass away,
God’s Word shall forever endure.

~ Fanny Crosby, circa 1886
(Found in the flyleaf of Brother Jesse Harsh’s Bible)

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No Time to Pray

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I got up early one morning
and rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
that I didn’t have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me,
and heavier came each task.
“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered.
He answered, “You didn’t ask.”
I wanted to see joy and beauty,
but the day toiled on, gray and bleak;
I wondered why God didn’t show me.
He said, “But you didn’t seek.”
I tried to come into God’s presence;
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“My child, you didn’t knock.”
I woke up early this morning,
and paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish
that I had to take time to pray.

Consolation

There is never a day so dreary
But God can make it bright,
And unto the soul that trust Him,
He giveth songs in the night.
There is never a path so hidden,
But God can lead the way,
If we seek for the Spirit’s guidance
And patiently wait and pray.

There is never a cross so heavy,
But the nail-scarred hands are there
Outstretched in tender compassion
The burden to help us bear.
There is never a heart so broken,
But the loving Lord can heal.
The heart that was pierced on Calvary
Doth still for his loved ones feel.

There is never a life so darkened,
So hopeless and unblessed,
But may be filled with the light of God
And enter His promised rest.
There is never a care or loss,
But that we may bring to Jesus
And leave at the foot of the cross.

Author; Unknown

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.

Our Church’s Bottom Line

Mark 16:15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature.”

1. Purifies Our Purpose.
The purpose for all we do is established and singular.
Helps us weed out activities that do not contribute to our “bottom line.”

2. Directs Our Decision Making.
We measure every decision by our “bottom line.”

3. Simplifies Our Assessments.
We are able to determine the necessity/effectiveness of what we are doing.

4. Unifies Our Focus.
Everyone focused and working toward the same goal/purpose.

5. Firmly Establishes our Future
Our church will be tomorrow what we are working towards today.