Sunday, July 20, 2008

Praise God for the Atlantic-waves!

A friend of mine sent the following Spurgeon devotional to me. It was a great encouragement, because of the great trials we have been experiencing lately.

"The Lord our God hath shewed us His glory"
(Deuteronomy 5:24)
God's great design in all His works is the manifestation of His own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of Himself.

I have taught my children this: What is the chief end of man? The chief end of man is to glorify God! But how should we glorify God? By seeing Him as He really is!

But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man's eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord.

The problem is that we fallen creatures have a great opinion of ourselves. Instead of desiring only that God be glorified, we want a little bit of it for ourselves. Didn't I do a good job singing today, we think. Wasn't it kind of me to speak to that homeless person? We want a pat on the back; we want to be recognized. Yet our chief end is to glorify GOD!

It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why He bringeth His people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when He comes forth to work their deliverance.

God sends trials into our lives to open our eyes. He wants us to see how foolish and weak we are, so we can understand how majestic He is. Our trials cause us to cry out for the Living God, and we worship Him when He delivers us from all evil.

I cry out for Your hand of mercy to heal me

I am weak, I need Your love to free me

Oh Lord, my rock, my strength in weakness

Come rescue me, O Lord

He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the God of tempests; but they who 'do business in great waters', these see His 'wonders in the deep'. Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man.

I know this. I have been tossed among the Atlantic-waves of loss, of poverty, of reproach. I have known what it is to be at "wit's end", to have nowhere to turn but to God Himself, because I am unable to *fix* what is wrong. And God has always welcomed me when I run to Him.

Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God's greatness and loving-kindness. Your troubles have enriched you with wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as He did His servant Moses, that you might behold His glory as it passed by.

God is so good to us, to lead us into dark and dangerous waters. It's during those dark days that we learn that God will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us. We learn that He is always in control, and that He means to bless us with a greater knowledge of His grace and His provision. Without the troubles I have experienced in my life, I would not have seen His glory.

Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of His glory in His wonderful dealings with you.

How I praise You, O my God! How I marvel at your wonderful goodness to the children of men. You send the afflictions that are perfect for my soul, and your timing is always best. You don't ever leave Your children in the storm one second longer than is necessary for their growth in grace and in the knowledge of Your Beauty.

You are my hope

Your promise never fails me

And my desire is to follow you forever

Lord, glorify Your name in me. Let Your work be done in my life, so that I can shine forth with Your glory.

For You are good,
For You are good,
For You are good to me.
"Now therefore, my God, I thank You and praise Your glorious name!"

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