~ Carl Gustaf Chewning ~
But may all who take shelter in you be happy! May they continually shout for joy! Shelter them so that those who are loyal to you may rejoice!
– Ps 5:11 NET
He takes me to lush pastures, he leads me to refreshing water.
– Ps 23:2 NET
I can hear these violets chorus
To the sky’s benediction above;
And we all are together lying
On the bosom of Infinite Love.
Oh, the peace at the heart of Nature!
Oh, the light that is not of day!
Why seek it afar forever,
When it cannot be lifted away?
—W. C. GANNETT.
What inexpressible joy for me, to look up through the apple-blossoms and the fluttering leaves, and to see God’s love there; to listen to the thrush that has built his nest among them, and to feel God’s love, who cares for the birds, in every note that swells his little throat; to look beyond to the bright blue depths of the sky, and feel they are a canopy of blessing,—the roof of the house of my Father; that if clouds pass over it, it is the unchangeable light they veil; that, even when the day itself passes, I shall see that the night itself only unveils new worlds of light; and to know that if I could unwrap fold after fold of God’s universe, I should only unfold more and more blessing, and see deeper and deeper into the love which is at the heart of all.
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage – I have conquered the world.”
– John 16:33 NET
My Lord’s words are true as to the tribulation. I have my share of it beyond all doubt. The flail is not hung up out of the way, nor can I hope that it will be laid aside so long as I lie upon the threshing floor, How can I look to be at home in the enemy’s country, joyful while in exile, or comfortable in a wilderness? This is not my rest. This is the place of the furnace, and the forge, and the hammer. My experience tallies with my Lord’s words.
I note how He bids me “be of good cheer.” Alas! I am far too apt to be downcast. My spirit soon sinks when I am sorely tried. But I must not give way to this feeling. When my Lord bids me cheer up I must not dare to be cast down.
What is the argument which He uses to encourage me? Why, it is His own victory. He says, “I have overcome the world.” His battle was much more severe than mine. I have not yet resisted unto blood. Why do I despair of overcoming? See, my soul, the enemy has been once overcome. I fight with a beaten foe. O world, Jesus has already vanquished thee; and in me, by His grace, He will overcome thee again. Therefore am I of good cheer and sing unto my conquering Lord.
“Your name be … Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have prevailed.”
– Gen 32:28 NET
In his manly vigor he struggled with God. He struggled with an angel and prevailed; he wept and begged for his favor.—He did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.
“Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, if someone says to this mountain, ’Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”—“’If you are able?’ All things are possible for the one who believes.”—“And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
“Increase our faith!”
Hos 12:3-4, Rom 4:20, Mark 11:22-24, Mark 9:23, Luke 1:45, Luke 17:5