Sunday, 10 August 2014

God is Not Dead!

I read this in my personal quiet time the other day, and I so needed to hear it (amazing how the Lord always provides exactly what you need to hear)! I thought I would share it with you all. :) This is taken from Daily Bread (1959) by M.R. De Haan and Henry G. Bosch.
 

God is Not Dead!

(Read Psalm 46 - this is an amazing Psalm to read in hard times!)


"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear..." ~ Psalm 46:1-2

"At one time," said Martin Luther, "I was sorely vexed and tried by my own sinfulness, by the wickedness of the world, and by the dangers which beset the church. One morning I saw my wife dressed in mourning. Suprised, I asked her who had died. She replied: 'Don't you know . . . God in heaven is dead.' . .  . I said to her: 'How can you talk such nonsense, Katie? How can God die? He is immortal, and will live through all eternity.' . . . 'Is that really true?' she asked. 'Of course,' I said, still not perceiving what she was aiming at, 'How can you doubt it? As sure as there is a God in heaven, so sure it is that He can never die.' 'And yet,' she said, 'Though you do not doubt that, you are still so hopeless and discouraged?' . . . Then I observed what a wise woman my wife was, and mastered my sadness."

It is ludicrous to presume that God is dead, and yet from a practical point of view, have not all of us at times acted as if He were? His ear is ever open to the cry of His child, and He is fully able to meet our every need. Nothing goes by Him unnoticed, nothing is out of His control. He who guides the immense universe in its hurried flight through space, also marks the sparrow's fall and decrees even the exact instant when a minute hair shall fall from our head. Nothing is left to chance, all is conceived in His providence. If God then be for us, 'who can be against us?' "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him" (Psalm 103:13). He loves; He cares; He controls. God is not dead; stop acting as if He were!

Oh God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come, 
Be Thou our guide while life shall last
And our eternal home. ~ Isaac Watts

"To look around is to be distressed. To look within is to be depressed. To look up is to be blessed." ~ R. Becker.

***

Also, at the moment I'm really finding the book Where is God in All of This? by Deborah Howard that I am reading really good and challenging! She addresses the subject of suffering from a Biblical perspective in a really clear way and I highly recommend it. Watch this space on the blog for a review and favourite quotes sometime, Lord willing! :) In the meantime, here are some quotes from it:
"Everything that is brought into our lives is there because God either caused it, or allowed it to be there. And whatever is brought into our lives is designed by God for our best good and for His glory." (p.27).
This second quote I found particularly challenging:
"But thinking through the theology of suffering, and resolving in advance how you will respond, however praiseworthy the excercise, cannot prepare you for the shock of suffering itself. It is like jumping into a bitterly cold lake: you can brace yourself for the experience all day, but when you actually jump in the shock to your system will snatch your breath away." (p.23, quoted from 'How Long, O Lord?' by D. A. Carson)
This is something not many authors have picked up on, and something I've been realising only lately. Especially when you are spending a lot of time thinking about a God-houring response to suffering (as I do through this blog), you can so easily become prideful and think that you can "handle" trials when they come. But the Lord doesn't want us relying on our own strength and so oftentimes He brings along the very trials that will humble us and bring us to utter dependence upon Him. At least that's what I've been finding! :P

Anyhow... that's probably enough for now!

God bless!

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