Vol. 12 No. 2 February 2010
Well, many folk have prayed for rain because of the drought condition in the southeastern section of our country, and the good Lord sent it. The problem was that some areas were flooded. I am reminded of the story of some brethren in west Texas who became greatly concerned about the extreme drought conditions in their part of the world. They decided to obtain the services of a preacher to come and pray for rain. Finally, they found a city preacher to come out and pray for rain. He came and prayed fervently for the Lord to send rain upon the arid land. After a couple of days had passed, the rain began to fall. In fact, it rained until all the land was flooded, and the situation became very serious. The brethren became very concerned again because all their properties were inundated with water. They came together to discuss what they should do. One brother was heard to have said, “That is what we get by having a preacher to pray for rain who knew nothing about agriculture.”
You know, life is much like that. There are times of peace, joy, happiness and good health. These are mountain top experiences. However, in a moment of time things can radically change. The prophet Elijah was successful on Mount Carmel, but in a short time he was to be found in a deep valley of discouragement, and he desired to die (1 Kings 18; 19:4). This mighty man of God was human, after all, and not unlike ourselves (James 5:17). The good times do not test our strength and faith. It is when the tragedies of life occur. It is when death invades our home. It is when a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal disease. It is when the ill winds of discouragement and despair howl strongly across the depths of our inner being. It is when you pray for a friend or a loved one to get well and doesn’t, and he dies. It is when you lose your job, and you have to look elsewhere for employment.
There are dozens of other reasons why your hearts become burdened down with anxiety and sadness. Please excuse the personal experiences, but I must mention some of them. My lovely bride has and is presently experiencing some health problems; there was the sudden death of a dear friend that has overwhelmed me; a telephone call this morning informed me that a brother-in-law was critically injured yesterday in an automobile accident. Life is not a bed of roses. Sometimes the valleys in life are deep and long. Yet, it is not a time to give up. Blaming God and leaving the Lord would not be answer. Gold refined by fire rids the dross and makes it purer. I think of this passage in Proverbs 24:10, “If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small” in connection to that which I am now discussing. There was a time when many of the disciples of the Lord left Him and He asked His own apostles, “Do you also want to go away?” It was then that Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:66-69).
It is in the valleys of life that I need Him. He has never forsaken me and why should I forsake him. He is my Rock and my Salvation. He is my Hightower—my Shelter in the time of the storms. He gives me comfort in the night. His strength is greatly manifested in weakness. I often requested of Him to bestow His grace upon me so that I might see the sun beyond the overcast and the silver lining behind every cloud. His grace is sufficient for me. A moving verse is found in James 4:6 that is a simple, but a very profound statement, “But He gives more grace.” Listen to this precious promise of our Heavenly Father, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Psalm 50:15). The following hymn explains best what I am trying to say.
He Giveth More Grace
By Annie J. Flint (1866-1932)
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.