If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? Luke 12:28.
God encourages us to contemplate His works in the natural world. He desires that we shall turn our mind from the study of the artificial to the natural. We shall understand this better as we lift up our eyes to the hills of God, and contemplate the works which His own hands have created. They are God’s work. His hand has molded the mountains and balances them in their position, that they shall not be moved except at His command. The wind, the sun, the rain, the snow, and the ice are all His ministers to do His will.
Can we be surprised, then, that Christ, who made all things, should choose the open air as His sanctuary; that He should desire to be surrounded by the works of His creation? … Jesus drew His lessons of spiritual instruction from the natural things with which His hearers were familiar. These He used to represent the truth. He would pluck the lilies, the flower of the valley, and place them in the hands of the little children, and by these simple instructors proclaim the truth of His Word. The Word of God and the things of nature around us are our lesson book. God has spread out before our senses the beauties of nature, and He watches with pleasure and a Father’s joy the delight of His children in the beautiful things around them.
The root of the tree has a double office to fill. It is to hold fast by its tendrils to the earth, while it takes to itself the nourishment desired. Thus it is with the Christian. When his union with Christ, the parent stalk, is complete, when he feeds upon Him, currents of spiritual strength are given to the branches. Can the leaves of such a branch wither? Never. As long as the soul reaches toward Christ, there is little danger that the leaves will wilt and droop and decay. And the temptations which may come in like a tempest will not uproot him. The true Christian draws his motives of action from his deep love for his Redeemer. His affection for his Master is true and holy. And it is the cheerful, lovable Christian of whom Christ says, “Ye are my witnesses” (Isaiah 43:10)….
Those who have fled to God for refuge; those who have believed the heaven-sent message, who believe the assurance that, if they confess their sins, He is faithful and just to forgive them their sins, God will cleanse from all unrighteousness. Our God has pledged His word by His own greatness and infinity that He will bestow pardon and peace upon all who will come to Him in the name of Jesus.—Manuscript 16, March 25, 1897, “Principles of Education.”
The Upward Look p. 98
—-Please pray for Fran who is battling cancer. Rose
—-Please say a prayer for our country and President. Albin
—-Please pray for me. I think I have shingles. I’m in so much pain. Louise
—-I am pleading for prayers, for court with my estranged SDA husband. Praying for Gods peace and still with faith that there is a miracle possible, if not now, then at His right timing. Please keep Daniel (my husband) in prayers for his spiritual battle with this world. I believe in the power of prayer! Court will be around 9am this morning. Ama
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth. My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top. Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD. For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.” Psalm 102
The title of this psalm is, “A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD.” Ron and I are currently reading about the life of David. How many times, he was overwhelmed his circumstances—circumstances that were no fault of his own. How often we, too, are surrounded by circumstances that overwhelm us. We can see no way out. We cry as did he, “Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.” Psa 71:2,3
When this is our experience, our Dear Saviour promises, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour” Isa 43:1-3
Many times we are overwhelmed because people misjudge us and gossip about us. The story grows with the telling and spreads far and wide until even friends begin to doubt us. We feel alone and friendless. No one understands, no one cares. We cry, “Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me.” “Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.” “O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me” Psa 140:5;27:12;7:1
And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” Deut 31:8 We have the assurance that even “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” Ps 27:10 Our Great Redeemer promises, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jer 31:3 “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Heb 13:5 “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
Often, however, it is our own fault that we are overwhelmed. There are times in our life when we our eyes off from our Only Helper and take matters into our own hands as did David upon occasion. Whenever he failed to trust, he soon found himself in trouble and overwhelmed. Because of our sins, because of our taking our eyes from “the prize of our high calling,” we soon find ourselves bound with the cords of iniquity. Phil 3:14 We struggle and fight to be free, yet the cords grow tighter about us: they grow stronger every time we fall when tempted. The evil one is seeking to destroy us whichever way we turn. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph 6:12
Oh! How much we need a deliverer! How much we long to be free! We exclaim, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Rom 7:24 We plead, “Deliver me from all my transgressions.” “Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.” Ps 39:8;119:170
I thank God that through Jesus Christ our Lord there is deliverance! He hears our groanings and has provided a way of escape! Indeed Our loving Saviour loosens our sin-bands and delivers “us from the power of darkness, and… we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” Col 1:13,14 He “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Gal 1:5 He has promised not only to forgive “our sins, but to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
And beyond all that, He is even now interceding in our behalf. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 2:1 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb 4:14-16
May we remember to cry unto our Loving Saviour when our heart is overwhelmed. May we find in Him a shelter from the storm that rages about us. May we abide in Him forever and trust in His lovingkindness is my prayer.