7. Calamities – God’s Plaintive Voice

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Audio: mp3

The communication of God’s character is so deformed and very much rampant in the world today.

In my mind the justice of God eclipsed His mercy and love. The mental anguish I passed through at this time was very great. I had been taught to believe in an eternally burning hell; and as I thought of the wretched state of the sinner without God, without hope, I was in deep despair. I feared that I should be lost, and that I should live throughout eternity suffering a living death. The horrifying thought was ever before me, that my sins were too great to be forgiven, and that I should be forever lost. {LS 29.3}

The frightful descriptions that I had heard of souls in perdition sank deep into my mind. Ministers in the pulpit drew vivid pictures of the condition of the lost. They taught that God proposed to save none but the sanctified; that the eye of God was upon us always; that God Himself was keeping the books with the exactness of infinite wisdom; and that every sin we committed was faithfully registered against us, and would meet its just punishment. {LS 30.1}

Satan was represented as eager to seize upon his prey, and bear us to the lowest depths of anguish, there to exult over our sufferings in the horrors of an eternally burning hell, where, after the tortures of thousands upon thousands of years, the fiery billows would roll to the surface the writhing victims, who would shriek, “How long, O Lord, how long?” Then the answer would thunder down the abyss, “Through all eternity!” Again the molten waves would engulf the lost, carrying them down into the depths of an ever restless sea of fire. {LS 30.2}

While listening to these terrible descriptions, my imagination would be so wrought upon that the perspiration would start, and it was difficult to suppress a cry of anguish, for I seemed already to feel the pains of perdition. Then the minister would dwell upon the uncertainty of life: one moment we might be here, and the next in hell; or one moment on earth, and the next in heaven. Would we choose the lake of fire and the company of demons, or the bliss of heaven with angels for our companions? Would we hear the voice of wailing and the cursing of lost souls through all eternity, or sing the songs of Jesus before the throne? {LS 30.3}

Our heavenly Father was presented before my mind as a tyrant, who delighted in the agonies of the condemned; not as the tender, pitying Friend of sinners, who loves His creatures with a love past all understanding, and desires them to be saved in His kingdom. {LS 30.4}

Are you able to relate with that? Have you ever had a fear of God such as this here; that God is a tyrant just waiting to catch you up? The minute you slip up,

“I’ve got you now.” This is what the world today is taught. They have a false concept of God. If that is not the teaching, the opposite is true, that you can do whatever you want and He will still have you.

We are here to fine tune into God’s voice, not the voice of man. We want to come to understand one of the hardest things in life and to appreciate one of the hardest things in life. We can only appreciate it as we come to understand the one who permits it to take place.

Psalm 50:21 These [things] hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether [such an one] as thyself: [but] I will reprove thee, and set [them] in order before thine eyes.

This is where the concept of an eternally burning hell comes from. If man had it his way would pay back when we are hurt, and this would be paid for through all eternity. Unfortunately, this is often the way in which we understand God. We evaluate Him and His character according to our own nature; we think He is like we are. We are willing that people should perish, but God is different.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

He doesn’t want any single person to perish, not one. He could have blotted out the whole earth if He wanted, but He is longsuffering to us-ward because He wants to give us time and opportunity to come and repent and accept His ways. He pleads with the sinner.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

This is His plaintive cry. Why will you die, why do you continually choose to carry on in life the way in which you are? Turn, turn, I know where the road is going. There is a way which seems right to you, but the end is the ways of death, therefore turn, turn. He is speaking to each one of us personally.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Thoughts of peace; thoughts of an expected end; salvation, repentance. He wants to give us this expected end, but often we say if God loves me so much and His thoughts towards me are thoughts of peace, then why isn’t my life a dream? Because God has an expected end, He has something to accomplish. While He is there and He wants you to have peace, His has a purpose and a plan. In order to accomplish that plan He needs to call us to repentance.

Human beings are like nuts in many senses of the word. We have a hard shell. The tougher the nut is the harder you have to hit it to crack it. God knows where the individual is and unfortunately we are in the days of the feet of iron and clay. Gold is more valuable than iron. God could work with hearts much easier back in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Over the generations the heart has got harder and harder and human beings have got more stupid and more stupid. The Spirit of Prophecy says there is a stupidity resting upon God’s people, it is genetic and God wants to break through that.

The time is at hand when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn. Disasters by sea and by land follow one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man; but in them all, God’s purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger. {PK 277.1}

What is the purpose in all of this? So we can have a lovely time? No, God is speaking through all these avenues to wake us up. We are in danger. Probation is about to close. There is to be a time in the world where no human balm can heal. Our problem is that our heart’s affections have been bruised. God wants to heal it while it can still be healed, but He has different ways in which He has to do it.

The ungodly cities of our world are to be swept away by the besom of destruction. In the calamities that are now befalling immense buildings and large portions of cities God is showing us what will come upon the whole earth. {7T 83.3}

Can you think of an immense building that fell? If I say to you 9/11 what are your first thoughts? World trade centre, twin towers? If you are fine tuning into God’s voice you will think 9 Testimonies page 11.

September 11 2001

We are living in the time of the end. The fast-fulfilling signs of the times declare that the coming of Christ is near at hand. The days in which we live are solemn and important.

We are called to a solemn assembly and an important one.

The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude. {9T 11.1}

On one occasion, when in New York City, I was in the night season called upon to behold buildings rising story after story toward heaven. These buildings were warranted to be fireproof, and they were erected to glorify their owners and builders. Higher and still higher these buildings rose, and in them the most costly material was used. {9T 12.1}

As these lofty buildings went up, the owners rejoiced with ambitious pride that they had money to use in gratifying self and provoking the envy of their neighbors.

It’s the World Trade Centre, isn’t it?

Much of the money that they thus invested had been obtained through exaction, through grinding down the poor. They forgot that in heaven an account of every business transaction is kept; every unjust deal, every fraudulent act, is there recorded. The time is coming when in their fraud and insolence men will reach a point that the Lord will not permit them to pass, and they will learn that there is a limit to the forbearance of Jehovah. {9T 12.3}

The scene that next passed before me was an alarm of fire. Men looked at the lofty and supposedly fire-proof buildings and said: “They are perfectly safe.” But these buildings were consumed as if made of pitch. The fire engines could do nothing to stay the destruction. {9T 13.1}

September 11 2001 was a calamity, it was a warning. It was interesting to observe how it is that all the different ministries we have out there responded to it. Some said they were all sinners, let them burn in hell. Others said we will see them in heaven and there was a lot in the papers at the time. What we want to do is fine tune into God’s voice. When the twin towers fell do you know what God’s voice in that matter was?

Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

That is the message of September 11 2001. Except who repent? Who is He talking to? Jesus means me. As we consider that horrific calamity that took place on that day, we are to consider our own lives. We ourselves are to take warning from that.

It is so easy for us in our nature to think they died because they were so sinful. Their probation had closed, their time was up; but we don’t think about ourselves. Where do I stand before God? It is not for us to judge them where they were at, it is for us to examine our own hearts.

God today, not just back in September 11 2001, is seeking to speak to us. We need to fine tune into that voice, so much so that when a calamity happens in our lives, we will understand what God is trying to tell me. What is it that He would be trying to tell us? Don’t set your affections on the things of this earth. He is telling us because He wants that communion. His voice is calling us to enter into a conversation, but more than that, into a relationship. He can see that somewhere in our life our affections are still on the earth. He says He wants our whole heart, we need to seek for Him with our whole heart in order to find Him. If you still have little silken cords of affection here and there you will miss out. He permits things to happen in our lives to shake us.

We fall into the danger of not realising that is what it is all about. We are so prone, I am so prone, that when something bad happens in my life I think that I’ve been naughty and now God will just leave me alone. I grew up in a relatively strict Adventist home but I grew up with a wrong concept of God. Every time I did something wrong, something bad would happen. There would always be thunder and lightning. I got to the point where I was scared to do something wrong. In my early days I was a very obedient child, but it was out of fear.

When God intervenes in our lives it is very easy for us to misunderstand His purpose. If we have come to a point where we understand His character, then we will understand the purpose in the calamity.

Revelation 15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. 7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

We know what the seven plagues are, they are calamities, dire calamities. Here they are vials full of the wrath of God. If you saw hailstones the size of a cement bag falling upon the ground, wouldn’t you think God is up there ditching them down at you? That’s the picture you would get, but God is not like we are. He is not vindictive in His judgments, He does not delight or take pleasure in our pain. His ways are not our ways, therefore His wrath is not as our wrath.

The Bible says not one word of God will want for a mate, one word will pair up with another to gain a full appreciation.

The Mate of the Wrath of God

Mark 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. 3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. 4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. 5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched [it] out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

Do you know what a plaintive cry is? It’s a cry of grief. As Jesus sees us engaged in our varied relationships with the world, He is cut to the heart because He knows that will cut out heart. He doesn’t want us to get hurt. The vials of the wrath of God are His tears for an impenitent world. This is what the plagues are. God is weeping over the hard-heartedness of man. You can hear Him here.

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Can you hear the grief in His voice? How I wanted to protect you from the impending doom, I just wanted to bring you under the shadow of my wings and as the storm falls around you will be warm and safe and sound; but you would not. He would have come into their midst and made their house His house, but they didn’t want a relationship with Him so He had to leave them to themselves.

I consider it must be hard for God at times for Him to adhere to His own laws in dealing with man. A father or mother with a child sees that the child is going to make a mistake, but if you are an intelligent parent you will let them make the mistake. We like to try to jump in there before anything bad happens, to intervene in this learning experience. God I imagine has to constantly deny His own self in just having to let us make our own experience.

The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken. {DA 22.1}

He had to break those silken cords of affection.

This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. {DA 22.1}

You know what they say about the caged bird don’t you? Let it go and if it really appreciates and loves you, it will come back. That is what God has to do with human beings time and time again. He has to step back and let us have our way, but God is the only one who can reap where He never sowed. Man will reap where he sows. When man will not listen, when they don’t want God’s help in their lives, what can He do? He has to behold your house is left unto you desolate.

Isn’t that the description of the world when the plagues are falling? He has to leave them to their house to become desolate. He would have saved the whole world, he doesn’t want any to perish but all to come to repentance, but they would not. And so He cries and the plagues are a consequence of His grief because He has to let man reap his own consequences.

Psalm 9:16 The LORD is known [by] the judgment [which] he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.

What are calamities then? If we will understand this, calamities are opportunities to get to know the Lord. Some men’s sins are opened beforehand and some afterwards. If we would learn from the judgements and calamities in our life now while we can still be healed, we can know the Lord through them.

Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ’s agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him. When there came upon Israel the calamities that were the sure result of separation from God–subjugation by their enemies, cruelty, and death–it is said that “his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.” “In all their affliction he was afflicted: . . . and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old” (Judges 10:16; Isaiah 63:9). {AG 189.3}

His Spirit “maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” As the “whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together” (Romans 8:26, 22), the heart of the infinite Father is pained in sympathy. Our world is a vast lazar house, a scene of misery that we dare not allow our thoughts to dwell upon. Did we realize it as it is, the burden would be too terrible. Yet God feels it all. {AG 189.4}

Not a sigh is breathed, not a pain felt, not a grief pierces the soul, but the throb vibrates to the Father’s heart. {AG 189.5}

When Jesus washed the feet of Judas His heart was crying, How can I give thee up? How can I give thee up to this pain and misery? But we are hard nuts to crack. We are the church of Laodicea, we are asleep, so God needs to do something dire to wake us up. He doesn’t want us in pain, He doesn’t want us to suffer. In order to make alive He has to kill, in order to heal He has to wound. He will permit certain things to take place in our lives that we ourselves would not even expect. When they hit you it’s like a freight train, but He does it now while we still have time.

Time and time again God is trying to wake us up and rattle us out of our sleepiness. If we do not heed His warnings in the smaller experiences what will happen?

The Voice of God

As a family you have talked darkness and complaining until you are changed into the same image. You seem to work upon one another’s sympathies and to arouse nervous excitability until you have a dark, sad, dismal time by yourselves. You have held mourning services, but these do not attract angels around you. If you do not change your course, God will come a little closer and deal with you in judgment. Is it not time that you hold thanksgiving services in your home and recount with rejoicing the blessings that have been bestowed upon you? {5T 314.2}

A sister had died and they wouldn’t give her up to the Lord, they wanted to mourn over their personal loss. Unfortunately they didn’t know God. When the calamity struck they didn’t realise what God was trying to accomplish. Time and time again God may have to come closer and then a little closer and then closer still. He is longsuffering.

Satan has sought to afflict and ruin you, {5T 314.2}

Sr. White is writing to a man who would not come into the faith and as a result of that he had suffered a lot of calamities in his life.

and even to take your life; but your Saviour has shielded you again and again, lest you should be cut down when your heart was filled with a satanic frenzy, your tongue uttering words of bitterness and unbelief against the Bible and against the truth you once advocated. When Satan has clamored for you, claiming you as his own, Christ has repulsed your cruel and malignant foe with the words: “I have not yet withdrawn My Spirit from him. He has two more steps to take before he will pass the boundary of My mercy and love. Souls are the purchase of My blood. The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; the Lord rebuke thee.” {5T 338.1}

While there is still yet something in the heart that will respond to Him, He will preserve us from the full anger of man (the anger of man is the anger of Satan). How many steps from God’s mercy are you? What happens when you haven’t listened to God and Jesus has to step back once and for all?

It is the restraining power of God that prevents mankind from passing fully under the control of Satan. The disobedient and unthankful have great reason for gratitude for God’s mercy and long-suffering in holding in check the cruel, malignant power of the evil one. But when men pass the limits of divine forbearance, that restraint is removed. God does not stand toward the sinner as an executioner of the sentence against transgression; but He leaves the rejectors of His mercy to themselves, to reap that which they have sown. Every ray of light rejected, every warning despised or unheeded, every passion indulged, every transgression of the law of God, is a seed sown which yields its unfailing harvest. The Spirit of God, persistently resisted, is at last withdrawn from the sinner, and then there is left no power to control the evil passions of the soul, and no protection from the malice and enmity of Satan. {GC 36.1}

Do you feel like you really need to wake up? Won’t you welcome whatever it is that God brings to you then? When you see a God who does not stand toward the sinner as an executioner but someone who will let you go if you don’t want Him then why should we be afraid of calamities that take place in our lives? Obviously it is best that we be obedient then we can avoid them, but in my heart there are a lot of nooks and crannies, I have a lot of skeletons in these nooks and crannies which I don’t know are there so God has to show me. One of the loudest ways to speak to you is through a calamity. I’m a very deaf person; God is constantly having to speak to me in ways that are not comfortable to me, but if we will understand what God is trying to accomplish then it doesn’t matter how hard He hits us, we will thank Him for it.

The Bible says if you smite a righteous man he will thank you for it. God doesn’t want us to perish. There are times in our lives where He will leave us to ourselves for a while. We don’t know when our end will be, we don’t know how many steps we are to heaven or how many steps we are from hell, but we do know that we don’t know we are asleep. Thou knowest not that thou art wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Where are you at in your life? What does God have to do to wake you up? Do you have something in your heart that you are aware of but you just won’t let it go? Let it go because God might have to do something serious to help you to give it up. Even if you are following the word of God exactly you will still suffer. Sometimes there might be someone right next to you who will go through a calamity and you might partake of that.

It is very natural for human beings to think that great calamities are a sure index of great crimes and enormous sins; but men often make a mistake in thus measuring character. We are not living in the time of retributive judgment. Good and evil are mingled, and calamities come upon all. Sometimes men do pass the boundary line beyond God’s protecting care, and then Satan exercises his power upon them, and God does not interpose. {3BC 1140.5}

When the plagues are poured out, God’s people are not going to be free from the effects of the plagues. If the sun was shining seven times hotter and burning men do you think you would feel the heat or do you think God will give you some supernatural shield? He works according to logic, it’s called dress reform and mind reform. When the plagues are poured out, when a calamity strikes we need to have an understanding in our minds This is what it’s all about. As we have that understanding we will be able to survive. In that time it will be our mind activity that will see us through, but we need to learn it now in whatever we are experience we meet. The mind is very powerful even when it comes to temperature. If you say I’m hot, you will feel hot, but if you don’t think you are hot you won’t worry about the heat.

I’ll tell you a short true story to demonstrate the power of the mind when it comes to the physical body.

A number of years ago in America there was a security officer who kept a guard of parked railway carriages. One night he walked into the refrigeration car. As he walked in the door shut behind him and he couldn’t get out. The next morning as he hadn’t turned up at base they went to look for him and found him dead. There he had written a letter to his family. It said I am very cold and as it continued he said I am so cold I am starting to shiver and my teeth are rattling. His handwriting was becoming slurred as he was shaking. Then he said his toes were going numb and he described the full effects of hypothermia. They did an autopsy on him and confirmed that he had died of hypothermia; physically died of hypothermia. The railway carriage refrigerator was not on, it was all in his imagination and it killed him.

Job had to go through some calamities. And there was someone who had to go through the calamities with him and they didn’t cope too well; his wife. She said curse God and die. Why did she say that? As far as she was concerned he was the cause of the problem and if he died she wouldn’t have to suffer any more. That is what they will say during the plagues; they will blame us.

How it is that we respond to calamities now will have great effect on our future. One thing that has stuck in my mind as an educational experience was when I was on my way to church a few years ago and I was first on site at a traffic incident where a car had ploughed through a paddock and into a tree and there was a fatality there. While we were there the husband had been contacted and came to the site. We witnessed that how it is that those who do not have Jesus Christ react to calamities. This man lost it, he did not know how to cope, every rotten word that could have come out of his mouth came out of his mouth, he was kicking and screaming; his whole world had fallen down around him, he didn’t have a hope.

God wants to give us a hope. He wants to give us an understanding I love you, I see something in you that I need to apply the scalpel to. It will hurt but hang in there that is what I am trying to do. He doesn’t want us to have our affections on the world. He says come and give your affections to me. Stop breaking your heart out there, come and let me heal it. If we don’t want a relationship with Him, He will step back and let us learn the hard way and hope we will return to Him. He will permit Satan to exercise things in our lives that are beyond our own imaginings, that we never would have expected because He loves us.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

I love you so I have to give you a smack. A godly parent doesn’t smack in anger, they smack in grief.

Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness [is] bound in the heart of a child; [but] the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for [if] thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Praise the Lord, He will beat you with the rod of correction to save you because He loves you.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

If we would just quit our whinging, God will turn everything into our benefit.

The Father’s presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. Whatever comes to him comes from the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. Nothing can touch him except by the Lord’s permission. All our sufferings and sorrows, all our temptations and trials, all our sadness and griefs, all our persecutions and privations, in short, all things work together for our good. All experiences and circumstances are God’s workmen whereby good is brought to us. {MH 488.4}

They are instruments in his orchestra. When our faith will really lay hold of this, when we come to know when we are having a hard time and God has had to step back and let us make a pretty disastrous experience, when we realise that it is His plaintive cry, if we will appreciate what His voice is saying to us, then what cause for despair do we have in it? A true minister will tell you that a calamity is a blessing.

My brethren and sisters, in your ministry come close to the people. Uplift those who are cast down. Treat of calamities as disguised blessings, of woes as mercies. Work in a way that will cause hope to spring up in the place of despair. {7T 272.1}

Calamities are disguised blessings. Jesus endured a disguised blessing. There was a time when He had to meet a calamity which was bigger than we ourselves will ever meet. He couldn’t see through the portals of the tomb. he had trouble understanding what His experience was about, He had trouble finding and discerning the voice of God in that experience but how did He learn? By the things which He suffered.

Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

This is His testimony:

Christ never murmured, never uttered discontent, displeasure, or resentment. He was never disheartened, discouraged, ruffled, or fretted. He was patient, calm, and self-possessed under the most exciting and trying circumstances. All His works were performed with a quiet dignity and ease, whatever commotion was around Him. Applause did not elate Him. He feared not the threats of His enemies. He moved amid the world of excitement, of violence and crime, as the sun moves above the clouds. Human passions and commotions and trials were beneath Him. He sailed like the sun above them all. Yet He was not indifferent to the woes of men. His heart was ever touched with the sufferings and necessities of His brethren, as though He Himself was the one afflicted.

As He was having a hard time He didn’t let His heart harden because of the abundance of iniquity. So many people today hate God when calamity hit them, they blame God because of it. They harden their heart and the next time He has to hit them harder and the next time He walks away. When you go through a calamity you are not alone brothers and sisters. Jesus feels it.

He had a calm inward joy, a peace which was serene. His will was ever swallowed up in the will of His Father. Not My will but Thine be done, was heard from His pale and quivering lips. {TDG 263.4}

Three times He had to pray that prayer. He knew the calamity that was coming, He knew it was going to hurt but not my will but thine be done.

The source of His comfort was that nothing could befall Him except that which infinite love would permit. He had learned to fine tune into the voice of God in the calamity. As He went to Calvary, as the darkness settled upon Him, as the evil angels pressed around Him and it was so dark He couldn’t see through the portals of the tomb. There was no hope to present even a possibility of coming forth. He said Father I will take whatever You give me. Into Thy hands I commit my spirit. What was His secret?

Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him.  {DA 756.3}

Hasn’t your heart rejoiced in times past when you have had the affliction and you learned a precious experience through it? Thank you Lord for showing me. Jesus remembered those demonstrations of love.

He was acquainted with the character of His Father; {DA 756.3}

Here was His secret.

He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor. {DA 756.3}

That’s our secret too. The revelation of the character of God is a deep thing of God, that God’s wrath is not like ours but it is His grief because He loves us and doesn’t want us to be hurt any more. He sets about working in our lives to sever those cords of affection. Because we are so hard hearted He has to hit us really hard sometimes, but when they come we can rejoice because He loves us. May God help us to remember this as experience.

Amen.

Posted on May 6, 2012, in Hearing Gods Voice Camp Woody. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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