If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth. (Ecclesiastes 11:3)
Why, then, do we dread the clouds which now darken our sky? True, for a while they hide the sun, but the sun is not quenched; He will shine out again before long. Meanwhile those black clouds are filled with rain; and the blacker they are, the more likely they are to yield plentiful showers. How can we have rain without clouds?
Our troubles have always brought us blessings, and they always will. They are the black chariots of bright grace. These clouds will empty themselves before long, and every tender herb will be the gladder for the shower. Our God may drench us with grief, but He will not drown us with wrath; nay, He will refresh us with mercy. Our Lord's love letters often come to us in black-edged envelopes. His wagons rumble, but they are loaded with benefits. His rod blossoms with sweet flowers and nourishing fruits. Let us not worry about the clouds but sing because May flowers are brought to us through the April clouds and showers.
O Lord, the clouds are the dust of Thy feet! How near Thou art in the cloudy and dark day! Love beholds Thee and is glad. Faith sees the clouds emptying themselves and making the little hills rejoice on every side.
In one place our Lord speaks of moral conduct, and says in effect, "Go out into the world and live lives so pure and good that your fellow men cannot but see; and when they see they will glorify God who has given such moral power unto men." In the other He says, "Do not make a show of your kind acts. When you help your neighbor, when you minister to the poor, be sure your motive is right. See that your motive is to glorify God and not to earn a cheap reputation as a philanthropist or a heavy giver. Seek not to be known for your generosity, for there lies a snare, and you must by all means avoid it."
From the Scriptures quoted and from countless others we gather truths which may be condensed into this admonition: "Live a pure, righteous life and do not hide it from the world. As much as lies in you, do good to all men, but do it unobtrusively so as not to draw attention to yourself nor bring embarrassment to the one you help."
Unquestionably we are here to do good, but good that is done ostentatiously destroys itself in the doing. Kind acts are fragile things and must be handled carefully if they are not to become unkind and actually injure the one for whom they are performed.
JOB 40:8 LB
8 Are you going to discredit my justice and condemn me so that
you can say you are right?
Many are quick to blame God for all the bad things in their
life and in the world. "After all, God is ultimately
responsible, isn't He?"
Is a parent responsible for the choices their grown children
make? Certainly, they had influence in raising their children.
But ultimately, each human makes their own choices and we are
each responsible for our own actions. We cannot blame our
The Bible has always held out two great promises respecting Christ. First, He will come to us. Second, He will come into us.
For four thousand years the world looked forward to the fulfillment of the first promise. The other is the secret which Paul says hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints, which is Christ in you the hope of glory (Colossians 1:26-27). This is just as great a revelation of God as the incarnation of Jesus, for it makes us like Christ, as free from sin as He is.
If Christ is in us, what will be the consequences? Why, He will put us aside entirely. The I in us will go. We will say, "Not I, but Christ." Christ undertakes our battles for us. Christ becomes purity and grace and strength in us.
We do not try to attain these things; we have obtained them in Jesus. This brings glorious rest with the Master. Jesus does not say, "Now we must bring forth fruit, we must pray much, we must do this or that." There is no constraint about it, except that we must abide in Him. That is the center of all joy and help.
We will come unto him, and make our abode with him -John 14:23