A comforting lesson on how blessings come from suffering to bring forth God's beauty, and how "out of what seems like defeat come some of God's greatest victories."
We used to sing a little song:
In order to bring forth the sweetness, there has to be some suffering. To bring about the beauty of the flame there must be ashes. Something must go to ashes!
Blessings come from suffering--beauty for ashes!--As is borne out so well in Hebrews 12. Verse 11 says: "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
Praise is the voice of faith!
Like a giant hand taking the honey comb and squeezing it, and out comes the honey! Like Moses smiting the rock--it hurt the rock, but out came the water! Like a beautiful flower pressed and crushed, but out comes the perfume! Like the beautiful music that comes from the throat of the bird--almost as though in pain, yet it comes forth with song. The whole Creation groaneth, waiting to be delivered. Even though the bird's song is sad, it's so sweet. The groans are not murmurs, but songs of praise and thanksgiving to God--a sad, sweet song! As Shelley said, "Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts!" The heart of stone had to be broken before the water could flow out to refresh the people!
Lord, help us not to fight Thy crushing, Thy bruising, Thy smiting, which causes the water to gush forth. Help us not to quench that beautiful song, even if it's sad--to thank Thee in spite of the sorrow. Help us to be willing to be smitten and crushed, to be squeezed and to be bruised, to be in agony, that we may give forth Thy sweetness, Thy fragrance, Thy beauty, Thy song, Thy refreshing waters. Out of what seems like defeat, come some of Thy greatest victories!
You could never appreciate the light unless you've been in darkness! You can't appreciate health unless you've been sick! You'll never appreciate Joy until you've known Sorrow! You can't appreciate God's Mercy until you've known the Devil's Justice.
"Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." (1Cor.1:4)
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom. My full bio.
If you like this article and my work on this website, you can show your appreciation by sending me a gift. Both my wife Tess and I are now unemployed and now live in the Philippines.
On July 31, our pastor drove us 70 kilometers south from our home in the city of Allen to Caybayog City (Samar, Philippines) where there's an immigration office. There I successfully applied for and received a 6-month visa extension! But the cost was higher than expected, 12,450 Philippine pesos, roughly $235 USD. Thankfully, I received one gift so far that covered half of that. If any of the visitors to this website who are not regular contributors to my work would like to help us cover the other half, it would be greatly appreciated. I will immediately send you an email to thank you.
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• Recognize you have violated in some way the laws of God. Violation of legal law is called a crime. Violation of God’s moral law is called a sin. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; - Romans 3:23
As it is written (in the Bible), There is none righteous, no, not one: - Romans 3:10
• Recognize the penalty of sin: Death! For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. - Romans 6:23
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: - Romans 5:12
• Recognize Jesus is the Saviour! Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. - Acts 4:12
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. - Acts 16:31
• Recognize our lives our sinful by nature. We can do nothing of our own to merit eternal life. Salvation is completely by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ! For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: - Ephesians 2:8
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. - Isaiah 64:6
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; - Titus 3:5
• Recognize Christ paid the sin debt we owe! But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. - Romans 5:8-9
• Recognize you must receive Christ as your personal Saviour! For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. - Romans 10:13
• Ask Jesus to be your Saviour!Dear Jesus:
I know I am a sinner. I know if I were to die right now, I could not go to Heaven. I ask you, right now, to come into my heart, forgive me of my sin, and be my Saviour. Thank you for saving me and giving me eternal life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer with all sincerity, you have passed from death to life and have been born again into the family of God!
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