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Monday, October 27, 2008
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"We'll Understand It Better By And By"
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
Yesterday afternoon Brooksyne and I visited the family of a man who had died as a result of a construction accident last week. Though we did not know him personally we are good friends with his older sister and her husband. The entire family is processing his untimely death and we joined with many others who sought to express words of comfort and support as we walked through the long visitation line.
In the midst of lingering troubles or unexpected tragedy it is essential that we not allow the troubling circumstances to drain us of the eternal hope that comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit. Paul warned the Corinthian believers, "Do not lose heart…..For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (II Corinthians 4:16, 17).
The Life Application Bible gives an important faith perspective on this passage in its study notes: "Our troubles should not diminish our faith or disillusion us. We should realize that there is a purpose in our suffering. Problems and human limitations have several benefits: (1) they remind us of Christ's suffering for us; (2) they keep us from pride; (3) they cause us to look beyond this brief life; (4) they prove our faith to others; and (5) they give God the opportunity to demonstrate His power. See your troubles as opportunities!"
By faith we must look beyond the painful circumstance visible to all and remind ourselves that God is working in the invisible realm of the hearts of those impacted by the tragedies of this life. Our friend who experienced the sudden loss of her brother asked us to pray that God will work in the hearts of family members. By faith she is looking at the "bigger picture" to see this as a pivotal time for those she loves to find a deepened walk with God. The final outcome is not always seen on this side since the "eternal glory" that far outweighs life's troubling circumstances will not be fully revealed in this life.
Believers have long received deep assurance and much needed perspective from Romans 8:28. It was one of the first verses I memorized as a young Christian. How often I have drawn strength from its message and do so again as I slowly read it and again ponder its truth, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." God's going to work through this temporal trial for the ultimate good, although I believe in some cases much will be revealed or clarified on the other side.
Trials dark on every hand, and we cannot understand,
All the ways that God would lead us
To that blessed Promised Land;
But He guides us with His eye and we'll follow till we die,
For we'll understand it better by and by. *
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, because we are visually stimulated by that which surrounds us it is easy to become discouraged by what we see. Yet we choose to live by faith, not by sight. We want to rise above life's visible circumstances to scenes invisible here on earth but made known to us through Scripture. Regardless of our limited perspective or the personal cost we persevere in our trials and hardships so that we will gain an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
* "We'll Understand it Better" Charles A. Tindley Here's a part of the background story of Tindley's hymn from "The Complete Book of Hymns".
Songwriter and Preacher, Charles Tindley, didn't have answers for all the questions of life.
He was born a slave, his mother died when he was young and his father was sold and separated from him. He plowed fields fourteen hours a day, six days a week and then ran ten miles to night school so he could learn to read.
When he moved north to Philadelphia, Tindley started working as a church janitor, then he felt the Lord wanted him in the ministry. He loved to sing, and he often combined songs with sermons.
One Sunday morning in 1904, he spoke of the twelve disciples who were always trying to put Jesus on their timetable. They wanted Jesus to set up His Kingdom now. They wanted Jesus to call down fire from heaven now. They wanted answers now. They didn't know why they had to wait.
Tindley told his congregation that we want our answers now too. But sometimes we have to wait. How long? For some of the answers we may have to wait until the morning comes, and then "We'll Understand It Better By and By."
The Complete Book of Hymns
By William Petersen & Ardythe Petersen / Tyndale House
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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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