Don’t be disheartened when you go through difficult times. Count on God. We are safer in a storm with God, than anywhere else without Him.
There is an encouraging growth of religious movements all around us urging us to rely on the Divine. In contrast, is a growing strain of scientific temper and intellectualism that is subtly discrediting the existence of the Divine. We may sometimes find ourselves trapped between these two. But experience has taught many people, that all the worlds knowledge and our stress-coping skills fail us when we Edge God Out (EGO). Human resources are always limited. Our very breath is. Divine resources are limitless. God brings out the best from us when we rely on Him in our suffering.
The Apostle Saint Paul who went through severe trials, including abandonment, sometimes by His own community, never gave up on God. He said “I can do all things in the Lord who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)
The hymn writer George Neumark was afflicted with blindness in his later years. This infirmity added to his already miserable life of sorrow and distress. As a young man, he suffered abject poverty with nothing in his pockets. Yet his trust in God did not fail. He found great strength in the promise of Psalm 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee” He prayed most earnestly for Gods direction and consolation. Then came an unexpected appointment as tutor for the family of a rich Judge. Relieved and delighted, he composed one of the best-known comforting hymns sung in Church assemblies today. “If Thou But Suffer God To Guide Thee”. He said he penned it to thank the Lord for his sustaining Grace. Later, the great musician Johann Sebastian Bach saw such beauty in the hymn that he used it as the basis for a cantata and Mendelssohn included it in his oratorio “Saint Paul”.
The purest gold is that which has gone through the hottest furnace. The best wool comes from sheep that brave the coldest regions of the world. God too chooses His best soldiers from the highlands of affliction.
Saint Paul says “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5).