Trying Times

The USA has had both floods and cyclones with some loss of life. Canada has had some floods with some loss of life. Canada is passing through a very serious political crisis. Only time will show how serious it is. Ethiopia has a civil war. In the midst of this civil war they had a prolonged drought. The press reported that more than a million people starved to death. Iran has just had one of the worst earthquakes of this century. Today they reported that more than 500 had died and the number could go much higher. India is subject to tropical storms, and they have just had the worst storm in more than a century. While the loss of life was not as great as in Ethiopia or in Iran, tens of thousands are left with only the clothes they have on their bodies! Do you know what they have asked for more than any other one thing? "Our Bible is gone, please give us a new Bible."

Thousands of our brethren are without shelter and without clothes. There has been some clothing shipped, but for light clothes for children and grownups, the demand is almost limitless. Brother Ron Clayton is making an appeal to meet this need. Be sure to respond. In Canada our postage rate is so high that it is better to just send the money and let them buy clothes in India. They produce their own wool, cotton and silk.

From these natural catastrophes, I want to draw some lessons.

"Jehovah is slow to anger, and great in power, and will by no means clear the guilty. Jehovah hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet" (Nahum 1:3).

Then we turn to the New Testament. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed to us-ward" (Rom. 8:18); "And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

Paul is on a ship in the sea; they are lost; they are cold; they are hungry; they have not had anything to eat for fourteen days. Yet Paul said, be of good cheer. How could they be of good cheer? Paul told them that the God he served had told him that all would be saved. I quote, "...for I believe God, that it shall be even as he hath spoken unto me" (Acts 27:25).

I want to look at the Scriptures we have used and at some additional Scriptures that encourage us to say, I believe God, that it shall be as He told me. Do you profess to be a Christian? "But if God so clothes the grass of the field which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall not he much more clothe you, o ye of little faith? Be not therefore anxious saying what shall we eat, what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed. For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:30-33).

We shall add some verses that we do not hear quoted very often, but that does not make their messages any less true. "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood up and cried saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive. For the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:37- 39). We shall see when this measure of the Spirit was given.

Jesus was preached as Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). Those who heard Peter, recognized the fact that he was Lord (Ruler) and Christ (the Anointed One). They then asked what they should do (vs. 37). And Peter said to them, "Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." When they repented and were baptized, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Verse 39 reads, "For to you is the promise and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him."

The Lord said that we are to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and the material things would be added. Yet there is a greater promise. After a believer repents and is baptized into Christ, he receives spiritual power.

J.C. Bailey, 1990, Bengough, Saskatchewan

Published in The Old Paths Archive