An old hymn penned in the 1730’s by John Wesley speaks:
“Give to the winds thy fears; Hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.” (Paul Gerbhardt, translated by John Wesley, 1737).
I think on these words often: “Give to the winds thy fears; hope and be undismayed.”
Why not be dismayed? It’s so natural. But Jesus told us we would have tribulation. He wants us to remember that He has overcome the world.
God instructs His children, young and old and oldest still, to think on these things: “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -” (Philippians 4:8).
It’s natural however, at times, for us humans to ‘think on what’s bad and what’s sad and want to run away from the pain, instead of sitting in sadness and pain with the Lord and let Him Comfort as only He can.
When people hurt, words like ‘true’, and ‘honorable’, and ‘right’ and ‘pure’, and even ‘lovely’ are farthest from our minds. We walk through some ‘thorny paths’ in our journey, with great cuts in our feet and hearts – and we are tempted to react to God’s word and say, …
‘whatever’, and be in dismay.
But, Oh – the power of the hymn, the power of the Psalms, and the healing and the flow of living waters of God’s word.
“Give to the winds thy fears; hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.”
“Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears thy way; Wait thou His time; So shall this night soon end in joyous day.”
“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah
“But You. O LORD are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Selah (Psalm 3:3,4).
“Leave to God’s sov’reign sway to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4.
“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Yes, let us think on the hymns, the Psalms, and God’s word and be transformed by a renewing of our minds from ‘dismay’ to hope.
“Dear Lord, we are thirsty. We are hungry. “Lead us not into temptation” to receive water from broken cisterns, instead Lord, “deliver us from evil”, evil thoughts that doubt You. Even Your existence, even Your love. May we be hungry for You and Your word. Make us new that we might bring glory to You.”
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus . . . Philippians 4:5-7.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9.
Let us receive the gift of Jesus today. Admit our fall, Believe in His provision of forgiveness, and Call out to Him. He is our Immanuel, our present help in trouble. This Christmas will be a very Merry Christmas, whatever life may bring.
“Let us in life, in death, Thy steadfast truth declare, And publish with our latest breath Thy love and guardian care.”
“Far, far above thy thought, His counsel shall appear, When fully He the work hath wrought that caused thy needless fear.”
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:8,9).
“Leave to God’s sov’reign sway, to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”
“Do not fret…trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness…commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass…rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm.” (Psalm 37:1-8).
“Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments], making melody with all your heart to the Lord.” (Eph.5:19, Amplified).