The terrible battle to be fought by the seeker of God is against unbelief. One moment, we can be so full of belief, of joy and excitement, assurance and boldness. Then, as little as it takes to slam a door, so quickly and surely have saints of God known the onslaught of unbelief in all its terrible power.
Our fight is the fight of faith. Our faith is the victory. Nor is it a faith concocted, a matter of will power. It is rather, a surrender to God, an acceptance of things as they are, an acknowledgment of things as they are and entrusting them entirely out of our control to His. Thus we come out of our valleys, our clouds of darkness and into the light.
Wave after wave,
Billow after billow,
No rest, no peace, except for a time,
A short time, a breather so to speak,
From the unrelenting pressures which increase.
Darkness all around us,
Blind alleys at every turn,
Clouds obscure the light of day
And leave us damp and cold.
When will we be free?
When will the storm cease?
Has it no end? Has it no bounds?
Can we go on with our hopes
Dashed to pieces at every turn,
Like cardboard huts in a hurricane?
Is it sin in our lives that causes this state?
Is the wrath of God kindled against us?
Have we no hope, no reason to expect
An end to intermittent turmoil?
“There is no peace to the wicked,” the Scriptures say,
Yet we have searched and searched ourselves again.
And though we know that in our flesh dwells no good thing,
We still find ourselves without an answer.
The sky is as brass, His voice we don’t hear,
Our steps we seek counsel for, to no avail.
When will He come and show Himself?
When will we be clean to receive our King?
When can we have our hopes fulfilled?
Why does He hide His face from us?
How is it that curses seem to haunt us still?
Is our faith so small
That we do not enter in
To that which He has in store for us?
Or is this nothing more and nothing less
Than a process of refinement,
A must like the seasonal pruning of trees
To bear more fruit?
But where is the fruit?
I have my seasons of sorrow and humiliation,
But where are my seasons of harvest?
I despair from knowing the answer.
I thought I had it;
I do not.
I hoped I would receive it;
Will I ever?
Have I confessed my unbelief
In asking if I’ll have an answer
When I ought to ask for it
Believing I have received it?
Lord, help my unbelief!
I am like one up to my nose in quicksand;
My perishing seems so sure.
I surely cannot help myself,
Nor can any man
or number of men
In anything they can do.
My only hope is that my God
Will come and lift me from the quagmire
In which I have fallen and sunk so deep.
I thought I was out, never to return.
Many times I thought I was out,
Only to find myself enveloped again.
How can these things be?
Do the Scriptures not tell us
Of a life of victory and of power?
Are only a chosen few
Given to be as Stephen and Samuel?
Or have they too had such lives
Of trial and loss and failure
Before the dawning of their day
To shine as lights much brighter than the day?
Am I to believe
That this is a preparation,
That all goes according to plan?
Or must I fear
That all is almost lost,
That I have failed,
That there is no base for hope any more
That God will not deliver
A sinner such as I?
Yet a faint glimmer of hope lives on
Even as I enquire.
I know my God is able;
I know I want His will
At any cost there is.
And so I wait
That He will save
And manifest Himself
Once more forever more,
Never to leave again,
His presence ever there
For me to enjoy.
Hear me, Lord, and hear my cry,
I have no one but You.
If all this cloud and quiet
Is for our very best
Then can I accept it, assured
That You will come and be to us
What You have promised
In Your appointed time.
Must I also be in the dark
About this as well?
How much harder it is to live
With uncertainty upon uncertainty!
But if You are faithful
And if You choose,
You are able
To cleanse me and deliver me
To be with You
And You with Me.
Come Lord, please come.
Lethbridge, Sept. 1984
Not His ways so much as Him! Yet “theologians” or “studiers of God” presume otherwise. And how ingrained it is in our very carnal natures the thought or belief that somehow we are in control to some extent of our destinies and the destinies of others. How frustrated we get at our failures and at the failures of others when we do not understand that all things, great and small, good and evil, obviously and otherwise are indeed in His hands, that He rules over all. How unforgiving we can be toward others for the evil the Lord has sent our way by them for our good, and toward ourselves for the evil He sent to others by us for their good, not that we can justify ourselves. We seek to do good as we learn. But we must also learn that even our mistakes and evils have served in their place for the time and though these things are to be repented of, they are also to be recognized as purposeful and to be forgotten in the sense of continual regret. And how fretful we are when we find certain circumstances and events are entirely in disagreement to us and beyond our control. But if we know the Lord, and if we know that He is in full control of all and that all He does is for our good, we can indeed forgive, forget and rest. The wisdom of God is unsearchable, His ways past finding out; His thoughts and His actions high above ours, we don’t know what He’s about. Moses He sends to save Israel and Pharaoh’s heart He hardens, And both are found faithful in doing His bidding, both b...
The world celebrates many things in many ways. It lives for good times and pleasures. Yet it has no good cause to rejoice because it excludes its Maker in its festivities, even when it celebrates in His Name. It also remains in darkness and bondage even while trying to act otherwise. The pilgrim, that lone spiritual wanderer looks on, waiting for the day when he or she can trade in the sorrow and suffering, the loneliness and uncertainties, at best the mediocre satisfactions in this world s existence for great and true celebration. My friend, there is that place, that time, yes, here as well as there, which is here. This is the Day of the Lord. Jubilee occurs on the Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month, once every fifty years. I wrote this seven years before experiencing the Jubilee. One is brought into it in the fulness of time. Jubilee, oh Jubilee! The day declares the captive free, Delivered from the enemy, Glory bestowed for all to see; Oh, blessed Day of Jubilee! Loss, defeat and misery, Death and Hell had been for me And tears prevented me to see That one day there'd be Jubilee; Oh, blessed Day of Jubilee! The road beyond what eye can see Is littered with corpse and tragedy But trust the Lord and you will be At journey's end with ecstasy; Oh, blessed Day of Jubilee! Moon River Estates, Jan. 1993
If we truly believe that God is over all, then it must follow that He is the engineer of our needs as well. We will often think of Him as the Provider but seldom as the One Who has created the need to show Himself as Provider. Grasping the truth that my needs are not dangers or risks but rather introductions to Him and to His faithfulness turns me from fear and uncertainty to excitement and joyful anticipation. He is not only the Provider of the provisions required to meet the need but also the Provider of the need to require the provisions which He is able and ready and willing to deliver. And why all this? To teach me about Him and His ways, to reveal Himself in me, to set my feet on solid rock, to demonstrate His faithfulness, power and love. What will be next? How can I be sure? How can these things be? We spend what we have Of what we had But not of what we have. Yesterday provides to the hour But tomorrow too has its needs, And yesterday’s provision Will be no more When tomorrow arrives To demand its share. And if today There is nothing given I will have no yesterday To meet the need of the hour When that hour comes. From where do our needs come? Do they not arise From Reality? Then they must be met by the same. By the same They will be met. And because all things proceed From the Master of all, Therefore provision meets the need As the sun dispels the darkness And happiness the gloom. Why should I doubt? Why should I fear, Know...