Friday, August 26, 2011

"From the Depths, To the Depths"

We shall likely discover when we get to Heaven that the greatest blessings of our lives were not the greatest blessings of our lives (or at least those things we perceived as our greatest blessings).
    "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:3-5).
    Note the Apostle Paul's progression from "tribulation" to "the love of God shed abroad in our hearts."  Trouble presses trusting hearts deeper into the living person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We turn to Him most determinedly and devotedly when we hurt, discovering as we fly into the safe Haven of our hearts that we are beloved beyond any lesson that pleasant times could ever reveal.  "In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old" (Isaiah 63:9).
    This is not to discount the joy and blessedness of those "good and perfect gifts" our Heavenly Father loves to provide (James 1:17).  We learn much of His heart, nature and way when His gifts bring happiness to our hearts and smiles to our faces.  A long eternity awaits the trusting sons and daughters of God in Christ wherein He will lavish upon us inexhaustible riches of "kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:7).  Such goodness begins in this lifetime, as great and good things happen in us thereby.
    Nevertheless, the depths of God are almost surely best known when we must echo the Psalmist, "Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, o Lord!" (Psalmist 130:1).  From the depths, to the Depths, as it were.  By and by we shall discover that pain was a friend that escorted us to the very Home of our hearts in a manner that pleasure could never accomplish.  We give thanks for both, knowing that both the joys and sorrows of this lifetime have their perfect place in God's purposes. 
"Deep calleth unto deep."
(Psalm 42:7)

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