This morning testimonies were shared which encouraged us and displayed the power of the Cross in salvation, and the faithfulness of God’s deliverance to His children in life threatening danger.
Testimony was shared of a hardened atheist coming to Christ……all heaven rejoices over a repentant sinner. “The Hound of Heaven”, (poem by Francis Thompson) pursued the lost sinner until he came to the end of himself and received Jesus into his life.
Another brother suffered an anaphylactic shock following a wasp sting. The mercy of God overshadowed him and restored him to full health after the trauma. Thanks and praise be to God for His keeping hand. How we need a Keeper! His wife shared that on that morning she read in God’s word, “Let not your heart be troubled….(John 4:1). As she began her pressing agenda for the day, she neglected to store the word in her heart. When faced with the trauma of seeing her husband fitting, she struggled to function. Only in retrospect, when the danger had passed, did she remember God’s word to her that morning. Father had been in control of the circumstances and, in His plan, had made provision. Faithful God! Loving Father!
Hindsight is a wonderful thing! I ask myself: how many times in a day do I surrender the sense of His presence to a situation? No situation is too small, or too great, to find God in.
A sister testified of the pain of being denied the pleasure of relationship with her grandchildren. It was cut off by spiteful relatives. Many tears were shed, many prayers were said. She would commit them to the Lord but found she was unable to leave them in His hands, and would become anxious over the situation again. One night when the pain seemed unbearable, the Lord came to her with a tangible presence and she felt the Lord taking her by the hand. He put this song in her heart and sealed it there:
“When the pain is too much to bear and I think there’s no-one there,
I hear a voice calling me…
‘Let Me take you by the hand. I’m the One who understands,
His presence is like heaven to me”.
Jesus came to her that night, quieted her aching heart with His love and presence and enabled her to “let go” of the situation into God’s hands. He is the silent worker behind the scenes. We hang on to so much, even our pain. The truth is that our pain can find a resting place in our Saviour’s hands as we learn to let go and trust Him with the outcome.
The following is a line from a song we sang this morning: “The loss of my identity creates the Living Christ in me…..” We often discover, painfully, that we do not want to lose our identity when faced with certain situations. Maybe I resent being told what I should, or should not do. The fact is that God is not to blame for withholding the life of His Son in me, I am. When I refuse to bow and surrender, upholding my rights, judgements and opinions I prevent the life of Christ flowing through me by refusing to lose my identity. I walk in the flesh instead of the spirit, (Romans 8). When I resent things not going my way, I am not seeing God for who He is. Any problems coming my way won’t trip me up if I pass them on to Jesus. They should go straight through me to my divine problem solver, Jesus! As I lose my identity, (my flesh life), the living Christ will be seen in me.
One of Austin Sparks sermons asks: “Which side of the Cross are you living?” After conversion to Christ, we are positionally born again into the right foundation of the finished work of the cross. Does the life I live, (my condition), deny that position? Bluntly put, where do I deny Christ? Ouch!! Jesus has given us the potential for everyone to live a life on His resurrection ground. Let us surrender our self sufficiency, self exaltation and selfish ambition for the greater cause…..“Christ in me, the hope of glory!”
Can I choose to come to the place that the apostle, Paul, came to, and make his words my own in sincerity and surrender? “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me”, Galatians 2:20.