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A Very Present Help

December 4, 2008

dsc_0300In the past several years, I’ve learned a lot about trials and suffering. Certainly, many people have faced far worse trails than I have. Still, trials are the testing of our relationship with God. Each trial is a unique experience for that individual. Some of us become hardened. Some crumble. Others shut down. Being in the midst of suffering or watching other people go through suffering is a very difficult process.

A few months ago I needed a new devotional and ended up finding what I needed on my own bookshelf. I’d bought and gone through A Very Present Help by Amy Carmichael sometime ago, maybe around the age of fourteen. But reading it recently has been much more beneficial than it was the first time around. I don’t think it was an accident I picked up this book at the time I did. It ministered to me a great deal and helped me work through a process of grief to joy that I didn’t know I needed.

Maybe you’ve experienced a lack in health, the loss of a job in the economic downturn, or the loss of a loved one. If you’ve experienced trials or suffering, big or small, I hope these thoughts will encourage you as they did me:

“Trials are not [always] ‘chastisement.’ No earthly father goes on chastising a loving child. That is a common thought about suffering, but I am quite sure it is a wrong though. Paul’s sufferings were not that, nor are yours. They are battle wounds. They are signs of high confidence–honors. The Father holds His children very close to His heart when they are going through such rough places as this.”

“Don’t be surprised if you suffer. It is part of the way of the cross. Mark 9:12 says, ‘The Son of Man must suffer much.’ If we follow in the way He went, we also must suffer.”

“We are meant to follow in His steps, not avoid them. What if our suffering is caused by those whom we love? Was His not caused by those whom He loved? Oh, what a Book the Bible is! If only we steep our souls in its mighty comfort we can’t go far wrong; we shall never lose heart.”

“You will find that the joy of the Lord comes as you go on in the way of the cross . . . . It is no small gift of His love, this opportunity to be offered upon the sacrifice and service–something you would not naturally choose, something that asks for more than you would naturally give.”

“Whatever happens, don’t be worry for yourselves. . . . I know that each one of you is in need of continual help if you are continually to conquer. I have splendid words to give you; they are from the first verse of Psalm 46: ‘A very present help.’

“Our loving Lord is not just present, but nearer than thought can imagine–so near that a whisper can reach Him.”

So this Christmas season, no matter what trial you may be facing, remember Emmanuel, God with us. He’s present in each moment. He’s a very present help.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2008 9:04 am

    Sounds like a really good one! :o) Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. December 5, 2008 11:08 am

    I have to comment on your photo for this post – I have a candle just like that which I have been trying to photograph. I like your shot better than anything I have gotten so far. Nice work. 😉

  3. Kjirstin Cole permalink
    December 7, 2008 10:16 am

    What an encouragement!!

    Thank you – I needed that reminder. 🙂

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