Sunday, January 29, 2012


(Octavius Winslow)
"Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid." Mark 6:50

Listen, then, to the voice of Jesus in the storm!
It is I who raised the tempest in your soul — and will control it.
It is I who sent your affliction — and will be with you in it.
It is I who kindled the furnace — and will watch the flames, and bring you through it.

It is I who formed your burden, who carved your cross — and who will strengthen you to bear it.
It is I who mixed your cup of grief — and will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father's will.
It is I who took from you worldly substance, who bereft you of your child, of the wife of your bosom, of the husband of your youth — and will be infinitely better to you than husband, wife, or child.
It is I who has done it ALL!

I make the clouds My chariot, and clothe Myself with the tempest as with a garment. The night hour is My time of coming, and the dark, surging waves are the pavement upon which I walk. Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.

It is I — your Friend, your Brother, your Savior! I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for your good.
It is I who permitted . . .
the enemy to assail you,
the slander to blast you,
the unkindness to wound you,
the need to press you!
Your affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above — a heaven-sent blessing disguised as an angel of light, clad in a robe of ebony.

I have sent all in love!

This sickness is not unto death — but for the glory of God.

This bereavement shall not always bow you to the earth, nor drape in changeless gloom your life. It is I who ordered, arranged, and controlled it all!

In every stormy wind,
in every darksome night,
in every lonesome hour,
in every rising fear,
— the voice of Jesus shall be heard, saying, "Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid."


Friday, January 27, 2012


(Letters of John Newton)

September 1764
My dear Madam,
I understand something of your warfare. Paul describes his own case in few words, "Conflicts on the outside, fears on the inside." Does not this comprehend all you would say? And how are you to know experimentally, either your own weakness—or the power, wisdom and grace of God, seasonably and sufficiently afforded—but by frequent and various trials? How are the graces of patience, resignation, meekness and faith, to be discovered and increased—but by the exercise of trials?

The Lord has chosen, called, and armed us for the fight! Shall we wish to be excused from the battle? Shall we not rather rejoice that we have the honor to appear in such a cause, under such a Captain, such a banner and in such a company?

God has graciously provided:
a complete suit of armor,
formidable weapons,
precious balm to heal us—if we receive a wound, and
precious cordials to revive us—when we are in danger of fainting!

Further, we are assured of the victory beforehand! O what a crown of glory is prepared for every conqueror, which Jesus, the righteous Judge, the gracious Savior—shall place upon every faithful head with His own hand!

So let us not be weary and faint, for in due season we shall reap! The time is short! In a little while, the struggle of indwelling sin, and all the conflicts surrounding us, shall be known no more! "Be faithful, even to the point of death—and I will give you the crown of life!" Revelation 2:10