05 November 2015

Hard winds of life, wisdom from Amy Carmichael and others

Let us not be surprised when we have to face difficulties. When the wind blows hard on the tree, the roots stretch and grow stronger.

Let it be so with us. Let us not be weaklings yielding to every wind that blows, but strong in the spirit to resist.

~ Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), missionary to India

There's a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world - the kind of suffering Christ takes on. I welcome the chance to take my share of that suffering. When I became a servant, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God's way of helping me serve you. ~ Apostle Paul, Colossians 1:24-25 (Message)

Taking the gospel to people ordinarily requires sacrifice and suffering, a losing of life or a denying of self. This is the way Christ means for his saving sufferings to be taken to the world, through the sufferings of his people. Suffering is God's strategy for completing the Great Commission. The Calvary road is not a joyless road. It is a painful one, but it is a profoundly happy one. Those who follow Jesus are often sorrowful, and always rejoicing.
~ John Piper, desiringgod.org

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. ~African proverb

God's call has to do with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers he chooses to use to crush us.

When he uses someone we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, to crush us, then we object. We must never try to choose the place of our own martyrdom.

If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed - you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.

~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Always, by Steve Green
With the hard winds of life blowing out of control, it can feel like I'm all on my own.
But You've given me Your word and I know You'll never leave and I've never faced a single storm alone.
You are good always and in all ways. You are working all things together for our good.
You are good always in big and small ways, I know I can trust You in everything You do.

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