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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"Through It All"

"Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith, 'We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,' they said" (Acts 14:22).

We have a business on Main Street in our community called the "Thru-It-All Auto Body Shop." Awhile back I stopped in to visit with the owner and the name of the shop, as I suspected, was based on a song from the seventies called "Through it all."  As I shared with him he recounted God's faithfulness in helping him through the years in dealing with the various hardships and overcomings that we must go through to enter the kingdom of God.  It's the only business I've ever seen with this name and I did a Google search and couldn’t find another like it!

I recall a time in my life when the song, "Through it all" meant a great deal to me.  Early in my ministry I had hit some real obstacles and closed doors.  Although I felt I had been led by the Lord I wondered if I had made a huge mistake. 

I was driving a little Datsun pickup and the memory is still so vivid I know precisely where it happened.  Brooksyne was sitting in the middle and a college friend named Larry was on the passenger side.  I was so intensely discouraged about my situation that I, involuntarily, started to cry. I sure didn't want either Brooksyne or my friend Larry to see me, so I angled my face toward the left of the window as I drove.  Just then the song, "Through it all" came on and God used it to renew my assurance that He would see me through.  He did.  That was nearly 30 years ago.  God is faithful.

Today's Scripture portion is a tiny condensation of the message that Paul and Barnabas were giving to the young believers in Asia Minor during their first missionary journey. In seeking to strengthen the disciples and encourage them to remain true to the faith their message is summed up in this twelve-word phrase. "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God."  That sure isn't a message we want to hear is it?  I doubt if many choose this verse as their life verse or even memorized it.  But it was true then and its message still holds true for us today.

Some of you are facing tremendous obstacles with tightly shut doors.  You just don't know how, when or even if it will work out.  Hold on my friend, keep your faith, and stay true to the Lord.  You will have a glorious testimony in God's due time!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, though we might not recognize it while facing an obstacle or enduring a trial it is a golden opportunity to see You work in a supernatural way.  Not only do You bring about a solution in the circumstances that perplex us but You also develop godly character in us as we patiently endure the waiting period.  The Psalmist tells us to *wait on You and be of good courage and You will strengthen our hearts.  Then He reminds us again to wait.  Bless and encourage readers today who are waiting.  For as we wait we develop patience, endurance, and faithfulness among other Christian virtues. 

*Psalm 27:14

Personal note: Last night I drove through the heart of eastern Lancaster County Amish country.  It's Alfalfa harvest time and I saw some beautiful scenery.  I enjoyed fellowship with my Amish neighbors as I was "hauling them".  My Amish neighbor owns a large king cab pickup he uses for his masonry business and he hires me to drive it and run various errands picking up equipment and supplies. His wife and kids had spent the day visiting with her parents and we picked them up to bring them home last night. On the way home their one year old child was unsettled so Anna began to sing tenderly, "Jesus loves me" and other Christian songs to settle her.  What a peaceful blessing that brought to my heart as I listened to the devoted love of a mother.

Photo of Alfalfa harvest
Amish alfalfa harvest
(Click to enlarge)

I found an audio of "Through it all" on the Teays Valley Baptist Church website. It's a live type recording with much expressiveness!

Here are the lyrics to the song:

Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus, I've learned to trust in God.
Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His word.

I've had many tears and sorrows.  I've had questions for tomorrow.
There've been times I didn't know right from wrong.
But in every situation, God gave blessed consolation
That my trials only come to make me strong.

I thank God for the mountains and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I'd never had a problem,
I wouldn't know that He could solve them,
I'd never know what faith in God could do.

"Through It All" Crouch, Andrae © 1971 Manna Music, Inc. (ASCAP) ARR UBP of Manna Music, Inc. (35255 Brooten Road, Pacific City, OR 97135) CCLI License No. 2005306

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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