Working Together For Good
From: Streams in the Desert
All things work together for good to them that love God (Rom. 8:28).
Many people are wanting power. Now how is power produced? The other day we passed the great works where the trolley engines are supplied with electricity. We heard the hum and roar of the countless wheels, and we asked our friend, “How do they make the power?”
“Why,” he said, “just by the revolution of those wheels and the friction they produce. The rubbing creates the electric current.”
And so, when God wants to bring more power into your life, He brings more pressure. He is generating spiritual force by hard rubbing. Some do not like it and try to run away from the pressure, instead of getting the power and using it to rise above the painful causes.
Opposition is essential to a true equilibrium of forces. The centripetal and centrifugal forces acting in opposition to each other keep our planet in her orbit. The one propelling, and the other repelling, so act and re-act, that instead of sweeping off into space in a pathway of desolation, she pursues her even orbit around her solar centre.
So God guides our lives. It is not enough to have an impelling force–we need just as much a repelling force, and so He holds us back by the testing ordeals of life, by the pressure of temptation and trial, by the things that seem against us, but really are furthering our way and establishing our goings.
Let us thank Him for both, let us take the weights as well as the wings, and thus divinely impelled, let us press on with faith and patience in our high and heavenly calling.
–A. B. Simpson
In a factory building there are wheels and gearings,
There are cranks and pulleys, beltings tight or slack–
Some are whirling swiftly, some are turning slowly,
Some are thrusting forward, some are pulling back;
Some are smooth and silent, some are rough and noisy,
Pounding, rattling, clanking, moving with a jerk;
In a wild confusion in a seeming chaos,
Lifting, pushing, driving–but they do their work.
From the mightiest lever to the tiniest pinion,
All things move together for the purpose planned;
And behind the working is a mind controlling,
And a force directing, and a guiding hand.
So all things are working for the Lord’s beloved;
Some things might be hurtful if alone they stood;
Some might seem to hinder; some might draw us backward;
But they work together, and they work for good,
All the thwarted longings, all the stern denials,
All the contradictions, hard to understand.
And the force that holds them, speeds them and retards them,
Stops and starts and guides them–is our Father’s hand.
–Annie Johnson Flint
A promise for us and for our children
From: SPURGEON AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE
‘I will pour water upon him that is thirsty … I will pour my spirit upon thy seed … and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses, One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob.’ Isaiah 44:3–5
Suggested Further Reading: Acts 2:1–21
The thirsty land shall be springs of water. O my brethren, when the Holy Spirit visits a man, what a difference is made in him! I know a preacher, once as dull and dead a man as ever misused a pulpit; under his slumbering ministrations there were few conversions, and the congregation grew thinner and thinner, good men sighed in secret, and the enemy said, ‘Aha! so would we have it.’ The revival came, the Holy Spirit worked gloriously, the preacher felt the divine fire and suddenly woke up to energy and zeal. The man appeared to be transformed; his tongue seemed touched with fire; elaborate and written discourses were laid aside, and he began to talk out of his own glowing heart to the hearts of others. He preached as he had never done before; the place filled; the dry bones were stirred, and quickening began. Those who knew him once so elegant, correct, passionless, dignified, cold, lifeless, and unprofitable, asked in amazement, ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’ The Spirit of God is a great wonder-worker. You will notice certain church members; they have never been good for much; we have had their names on the roll, and that is all: suddenly the Spirit of God has come upon them, and they have been honoured among us for their zeal and usefulness. We have seen them here and there and everywhere diligent in the service of God, and foremost in all sorts of Christian labour, though before you could hardly get them to stir an inch. I would then that the quickening Spirit would come down upon me, and upon you, upon every one of us in abundance, to create men valiant for truth and mighty for the Lord. O for some of the ancient valour of apostolic times.
Sermon no. 564
10 April (1864)
Who Can Stand? (Deuteronomy 9:1–6)
She stares down at us from the wide screen or up from the magazine or across the sanctuary. She’s the “perfect” woman. She’s tall. She’s willowy. She always knows just the right thing to say . . . and when to say it. She’s the perfect host. She is involved in every committee. She’s the picture of who the world says we should be. We feel like the Israelites felt about the Anakites: “Who can stand up against that?”
No doubt the Hebrew nation trembled in their sandals at the thought of facing the mighty Anakites. However, God promised to be more than an ally to his people. He didn’t just say, “I will go with you to conquer the enemy.” Instead, he promised to go ahead of them. He promised to lead the charge into battle. God would conquer and take the land on their behalf. Of course, God kept his word. The Anakites were destroyed.
As believers, we’re not really at war with “perfect” women. When you put yourself in their high-heeled sandals, you realize they have their own insecurities: Do people like me for me? Am I a slave to my looks? Opposition and uncertainties loom in every woman’s heart. Do we really have to squeeze into the culture’s mold to fit in? To be respected? To have the right career? To matter? So many times our internal struggles are the real giants we must conquer. Conquering the heart and mind are the front line of the battle of faith.
When uncertainties about who you are make you feel small, remember that God is more than just a friendly ally. He is a trusted warrior who will go out ahead and battle your giants. As you grow in your faith and in grace, he will conquer your insecurities about your looks and abilities as you grow to realize that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). He will conquer your lack of confidence in conversation by giving you the proper words to say through his Holy Spirit. He will fill you with security by giving you his righteousness. Then, when you’ve walked through the challenge, you’ll know it was God who won the war, and you can give him all the glory.
What personal battles are causing your stomach to tie up in knots? What giant challenges are stopping you dead in your tracks? Rest assured; God will go before you to devour your doubts.
Taken from NIV Women’s Devotional Bible