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It doesn’t matter who you are for the rain falls on the unrighteous as well as the righteous. This world is perishing and Jesus will soon come to gather his people unto him. The difficulties we face as we await his glorious return are achieving an eternal purpose as daily we are being transformed into the image of Christ.

We know that we will suffer and endure hardship while on this earth, yet each painful trial brings with it an opportunity to trust God for what he has promised. That is not always easy but it is something that Christ empowers us to do as we grow in our understanding and belief. It takes a willing vessel, emptied of self, to maintain hope in the face of disaster and say, “I know my Redeemer lives!”{Job 19:25}

The testing of our faith is the tool that God uses to strengthen us for the battle. Each time we pass through the valley of our difficulties, defying the enemy as we stand unwavering in trust, we are giving an awesome testament to the power of God. The gates of hell are shaken every time a believer can praise God in the midst of heartbreaking pain and loss. Such was the faith of Horatio Spafford, an attorney in Chicago in the eighteenth century.

In November of 1873, Horatio decided to send his wife and four daughters ahead of him to Europe where he would later join them. He settled them in a cabin aboard the French liner, the Ville Du Havre, and then kissed them and said good-bye.

The grand ship glided upon the water for a while but then it tragically collided with another vessel. As water began filling the ship, passengers were being swept away into the torrents of an icy ocean. Loved ones were torn from each other as they sunk beneath the darkness of the water. The fatalities included the four daughters of Horatio. Mrs.Spafford was later found unconscious and clinging to a piece of the ship’s wreckage. After she was rescued and taken to dry ground, she cabled her husband with the sad news, “Saved Alone”. In a very short time, all of Horatio’s children were taken from him in death! A few years earlier, his only son had succumbed to scarlet fever at the age four. How could he still trust God in the face of such grief and loss? How could anyone?

But God has the power to transcend our understanding and to fill us with his peace even in hopeless tragedies. Horatio quickly booked passage on a ship to be with his wife. While onboard during a bitter cold December night, the captain called to Horatio while pointing out the spot where the Ville du Havre sunk. As he peered into the watery grave where his daughters perished, Horatio was filled with immense grief. With tears, he went back to his cabin and said to himself these faith filled words, “It is well; the will of God be done.” Such incredible trust! He later wrote the famous hymn entitled, It is well with my soul.

My friends, you need to know that Horatio did not have an extraordinary life, but he had an extraordinary faith! He lived his life in such a way that acknowledged his belief that God was in complete control of all that happens. He trusted even through this tragedy that the perfect will of God could not be stopped. He surrendered the pain of his breaking heart as a sacrifice to give honor and glory to God. He absolutely refused to believe that God had failed him.

Is there a struggle in your life that is making it difficult to stand in your faith? Trust is a process that the Holy Spirit takes you through one step at a time. He always knows your weakness and he knows the path to bring you to peace. If you can surrender your pain to God for his glory, he will fill you with joy and peace as he works all things out for your good.

God will never fail you and the tragedies of life can never destroy you. Because of Jesus Christ, all can be well with your soul!

Marianne Bernard

Marianne Bernard

I seek first the kingdom of Christ because everything else in this world is perishing. All that I have is from God who is always faithful. I have worked hard all my life and will continue as long as God lends me breath. The mistakes and bad judgments I made in my life all stemmed from me trying to work things out by myself. I have learned the hard way that the victory over all of my problems and the answers to all of my desires lie solely in my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is now my desire to share the words that God gives me to encourage and give hope to others who need the strength that only faith in Christ can give.

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