Monday, May 9, 2011
Copper Falls during high water rivaled any I’ve ever seen. The water roared as it raced down its boulder-strewn path. It spewed mist in its wake, casting delicate rainbows, while tumbling through narrow canyons. Water offers us a picture of God’s awesome beauty and power. Whether it comes as a trickle or a flood of problems, we can count on His presence to help us through.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Never Give Up
In the early 1800s William Carey, known as the “father of modern missions,” spent hours translating and printing the Bible into as many East Indian languages as possible. Then, while away from home, his print shop went up in flames. He lost his printing press, his complete library, typeset for 14 languages, hundreds of reams of paper, thousands of printed sheets, and much more. “The work of years—gone in a moment,” he whispered.
But Carey did not mourn long. “We are not discouraged,” he wrote. “We are cast down but not in despair.” His words mirror those of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed …”
Life happens. Fires destroy, diseases strike, losses occur. But Paul reminds us that in any time of trouble, God is with us. He would want us to get up again when we’re knocked down. Self-pity, despair, and hopelessness should not be in our vocabulary. When we’re willing to go forward and try again, God will surely bless us.
In the case of William Carey, God used his loss to catapult his mission to greater success. People began to donate their money and volunteer their services to help rebuild and enlarge his Godly industry. By 1832 complete Bibles, New Testaments, and separate books of the Bible had been printed in 44 languages and dialects.
When we are resilient—able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions—and trust God to take us through, there is no end of the blessings He will bestow on us. The key is to focus on Him through His Word. There are countless verses of encouragement we can use to bring about resiliency and hope.
For instance: “Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
And: “(We) sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.” (1 Thessalonians 3:2-3)
Lord, we thank You for being with us through thick and thin, like a good friend but much more. We look to You as the One who encourages and strengthens us, and restores our losses with so much more. In Jesus’ name, amen.