Saturday, December 12, 2009

In every condition in sickness in health. . .

Throughout the year, individuals and families alike are hit by diverse calamities and sorrows that can really unsettle them. But when it happens during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, to New Year time span, it seems to be particularly devastating. That is, to those who have no hope.

Those whose lives and hearts are filled with the hope that lies in their heart because their heart belongs to Jesus Christ, because He has redeemed them, because He has set them free to depend on Him for strength in time of sorrow and hope in time of distress. For those without Him, there is no hope. For He is Hope.

I recently learned that a dear one in our family has multiple friends who are struggling with sorrow upon the recent death of a loved one, or the nearly unbearable sorrow of knowing that a loved one is dying. Though not family, they are dear friends with whom friendship has spanned decades. But they have Hope because they have Him. Yes, there is sorrow, yes there is pain, yes there is distress but there is HOPE!

As the old hymn says . . . .
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

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