We walk by faith. Faith overcomes the world. We live by faith. Faith is the work of God. By faith are we saved. This we know.
Now there is much ado made about love, joy, peace and works. But the thing that is striking is that with faith in the trial of the saints is mentioned none of those but patience. “Here is the patience and faith of the saints” (Rev. 13:10). Less is said about patience but this patience is the virtue of all virtues coupled with faith. The Lord teaches us to wait.
I once saw a man
Sitting in a chair on his veranda.
His feet were raised up and resting on a rail,
His eyes pegged on the road ahead.
He seemed to be waiting
With longing and hope.
He was alone and didn’t like it much,
And waited for someone to come.
Time passed on…and on…and on.
I looked again and saw
The prairie without life, as before,
The house, the veranda, and chair;
I saw the feet on the rail,
The figure was still there
But no flesh was left, only dust and bones
And cloth and cobwebs and hair.
Lord, why must we wait so long
For promises to be fulfilled?
Soon I begin to think and feel
That these promises were only imagined
Or that I have failed somehow.
I begin to think of that man
Who waited with hope in vain.
Will this be my lot? Am I that man?
My heart sick with hope deferred?
Will I turn to dust as that lonely soul,
Feeding on empty dreams?
But no, this is the patience and faith of the saints
Who are called to trust and to hope.
So we wait and accept the delay.
The man had no promise,
His hopes were in vain,
And he perished, not knowing the truth.
But we know the truth.
We know what we know because we have heard
And believe the One Who is true.
Lethbridge, Sept. 30, 1984
It is supposed by the lovers and inhabitants of this world that Christ came to make their existence in this world a pleasurable one by following His teachings and "principles of success." They fail to realize that His purpose was to deliver us from the tantalizings of earth and prepare us for another world by overcoming and forsaking this one. The cross of Christ represents death, not life to the flesh, and life, not death to the spirit, by the subsequent resurrection. Only a heart after God will perceive the reality of things and pursue at all costs. Righteousness is a dungeon To the son of iniquity. Truth is a stench to his nostrils; It cause his eyes to tear, His nose to wrinkle, His throat to choke. Laws are as chains to him With rough-edged shackles That tear his flesh And bind him down to Hell. Those who speak the truth Are as cruel tormentors, Dictators, fascists, despots To be despised and shunned. Fanatics they are, Upsetting the world, A blotch and a disgrace To a free thinking society, To the modern man, To the age of emancipation. Lawlessness is a palace To the son of iniquity. His pleasure is to sniff the aroma of lies. His eyes light up with delight; He swallows the darkness with zest And never has enough. Unrighteousness is as fine clothing, With lace and frill and charm. Those who speak the lie Are received as saints and kings, Friends, bosom companions To be loved and revered. Sensible they are, And level...
"Lord, who has believed our report?" cried Isaiah. It is to the sinner a prophet is sent, but sinners do not see nor hear by virtue (or vice) of the fact that they are sinners. The carnal man cannot receive the things of the Spirit. And because they are sinners, they are the ones who need to hear! So then both prophet and perpetrator, both saint and sinner, both herald and hearer learn of the grace of God, without Whom is nothing possible. "Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." Nobody believes me; They wince when I speak; I give them Scriptures; They give me notions. They profess to love the Lord to honor the Scriptures to walk in righteousness and truth; They have their own bibles Of bits and pieces Tailored to their doctrines To suit their purposes. They hate the Light; They love their gods And their sins. God is anathema to them As He is So they change the glory of God, They take His Name, Giving it to gods of their own liking; They take His words, Wresting them to their destructions With smiling public faces They deceive themselves, saying, "We suffer for His sake; Our reward is stored up For which we have so labored." Paupers, laid in the dust, Naked, diseased, deranged, Babbling vain repetitions, Bled bone dry By the gods they serve, While I remain wealthy and healthy And alone. Moon River, Oct. 31, 1991
What torment we put ourselves through because of the value we place on the attitudes and opinions of others toward us. Realizing the effect of that grievous burden, we throw it off and are greatly relieved until a day comes when we find it had somehow grown on our backs once more to torment us, increasingly so. We must make a choice between praise of man and praise of God. How sweet the deliverance from chains that bind A man to many lords, As peace and rest come to his soul Which he has not known before! The disquieted mind beleaguered with questions, Bedraggled with doubt and confusion, Struggles to know the answer at hand Which seems to be but an illusion. How fruitless the concentration on Opinions of other people! How taxing the consternation About all their thoughts and actions! To the extent one values their words And seeks to be praised of men, To this extent are they his lords And idols are they within. Seek not to prove that the wrong are wrong; Seek not to prove you are right, But speak the truth both gently and wisely And leave it without a fight. Fear no man but fear only God, For once all is said and done, To God will we answer And He is the Judge Of all things under the sun. All things that are hidden Will come to the light In due time, whether good or bad, And when His plan is fully complete, Then all will receive praise of God. Dauphin, 1978, 79