In Every Season…Praise Him

It was on a Wednesday evening when *Dora was listening to Christian music on YouTube.  The artist was someone she had never heard of before until her aunt sent her an email about him.  The songs were very uplifting but the one which really got to her was the one called, Holy, Holy, Holy.  It was so beautiful and so moving that she had to replay it.  When she finished listening to it, she bookmarked the page, closed the window and shut down the computer.  On her way up to the master bedroom to change into her sleepwear, she wondered if *Noah would have liked it too.

By the time she reached the room, she was in tears because it hit her that Noah was no longer around to enjoy or experience anything new.  She was crying so hard that she could barely get undressed and put on her nightwear.  Finally, she had to sit down at the foot of the bed.  The tears almost blinded her.  She felt a deep ache inside.  Through the tears, she cried out to God in her mind, Why did you take my son away from me, Lord? 

 

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Image by 123RF

 

 

Immediately, after she asked that, she was sorry.  She apologized to the Lord and begged for His forgiveness.  She got up from the bed, walked around to the side where she slept and got down on her knees.  Still weeping, she again told God that she was sorry for demanding to know why He had taken her son and asked Him to forgive her.  Then, songs of praise filled her mind and she blessed the Lord’s name.  It was at that moment that she realized that we praise the Lord in tears as well as in laughter, in sorrow as well as in joy and in the valleys as well as on the mountaintops.  In Every Season we praise the Lord.

Job, after he had lost everything in one day, including all of his children, declared, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  The Lord gave Dora and her husband, *Dave, Noah for a time and then he took him away.  It was an exceedingly tragic loss because Noah was their only child but they have the assurance that they will see him again.  With God’s unfailing love and comforting presence, they are able to face another day without their son.

For those of you have suffered a tragic loss, cling to these words of the Lord Jesus, “Blessed are those who mourn do they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

*Not their real names.

Sources:  Bible Gateway; Bible Hub

Finish the Race

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there,  except that in town after town the Holy Spirit assures me that imprisonment and suffering are waiting for me.  But I don’t place any value on my life, if only I can finish my race and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” – Acts 20:22-24, ISV

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Sharing the Gospel is no easy task.  It is with beset with hostility, resentment, persecution, opposition and in some cases leads to imprisonment or even death.  This is how it was in the apostle Paul’s time.  He testified,  I served the Lord with all humility, with tears, and with trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I never shrank from telling you anything that would help you nor from teaching you publicly and from house to house. I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance to God and faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:19-21, ISV)He was beaten, imprisoned, in danger of his life at the hands of those who wanted to stop him from doing the work Jesus had called him to do. 

Yet, Paul persevered.  He didn’t allow the actions of others or fear to impede him.  He was in a race and he was determined to finish it even if it cost him his life.  He was  true soldier.  He was in a war that will continue to rage until Jesus returns.  It is a spiritual war and as he pointed out we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers in the darkness around us, and evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm” (Ephesians 6:12, ISV).  These were the forces which were working against him at every turn of his ministry but through it all, he had the assurance that the Lord was with him. 

When he was in Corinth, the Lord spoke to him in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;  for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.”  Paul was encouraged and he remained in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching the Word of God (Acts 18:9, 10, NKJV).

We have the same assurances as Paul did.  We are not alone in our ministry to share the Gospel.  The Lord is with us every step of the way.  We cannot be afraid to do the Lord’s work.  Instead, like the psalmist, we can boldly say, The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.  What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6, NKJV).  So, no matter what the enemy throws at us, we are to speak and not keep silent.  The salvation of so many is at stake.  We, like Paul, must finish the race.