Friday, December 05, 2008


Things have been getting rough economically in our nation and world for well over a year now. Another 512,000 lost their jobs in November alone (the greatest decrease in employment in the past 37 years). With this reality comes stress, fear, pain, desperate feelings - and needless to say, is exacerbated tremendously with the coming Christmas holidays.

So what are we to do? Where does our help come from beloved? We say with the Psalmist, "My help comes from the Lord!" Have you reminded yourself today of your daily walk of faith to your First Love? "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (food, clothing, shelter, etc.). Not millions of dollars untold - but provision for your daily sustenance. Remember, our "lives do not consist of the things that we possess."

So are you hurting and troubled today; going through times of uncertainty financially and wondering about tomorrow and the weight of providing for your family seems overwhelming and crushing? I feel that burden too my friend. I am right there in that same boat with you for ministries and churches also feel this economic squeeze.

So together, let us turn our eyes to the heavens and our hearts toward our loving Sovereign, Savior and King. I find this article by brother Spurgeon a great source of encouragement again to my heart and soul today. And though I have posted it here before, my eyes never tire of reading these comforting truths mined from the depth of God's Word and fashioned to our lives in the crucible of suffering and grace.

"Give us this day our daily bread..." It is a simple prayer of dependency upon our Lord for all things. May it be branded each day upon our minds as we serve Him in the pots and pans of our everyday lives. 

"Lord grant us the mercy to see Your Sovereign hand today in our lives. You love us with an unfailing, never ending love. You have made us your children by the fathomless gift of Your saving grace. And so we come to You afresh and cast our cares on You, for You care for us. Glorify Yourself this day through your elect ones in the earth. You will never leave nor forsake us. Help us to trust in You. For Thy name's sake and praise we pray, Amen."
Psalm 121 

"At evening time it shall be light." 
-Zechariah 14:7b

I shall not notice the particular occasion upon which these words were uttered, or try to discover the time to which they more especially refer; I shall rather take the sentence as a rule of the kingdom, as one of the great laws of God's dispensation of grace, that "at evening time it shall be light." Whenever philosophers wish to establish a general law, they think it necessary to collect a considerable number of individual instances; these being put together, they then infer from them a general rule. Happily, this need not be done with regard to God. We have no need, when we look abroad in providence, to collect a great number of incidents, and then from them infer the truth; for since God is immutable, one act of His grace is enough to teach us the rule of His conduct. Now, I find, in one place, it is recorded that, on a certain occasion, during a certain adverse condition of a nation, God promised that at evening time it should be light. If I found that in any human writing, I should suppose that the thing might have occurred once, that a blessing was conferred in emergency on a certain occasion, but I could not from it deduce a rule; but when I find this written in the Book of God, that on a certain occasion when it was evening time with His people God was pleased to give them light, I feel myself more than justified in deducing from it the rule, that always to His people at evening time there shall be light.

The Church at large has had many evening times. If I might derive a figure to describe her history from anything in this lower world, I should describe her as being like the sea. At times the abundance of grace has been gloriously manifest. Wave upon wave has triumphantly rolled in upon the land, covering the mire of sin, and claiming the earth for the Lord of Host. So rapid has been its progress that its course could scarce be obstructed by the rocks of sin and vice. Complete conquest seemed to be foretold by the continual spread of the truth. The happy Church thought that the day of her ultimate triumph had certainly arrived, so potent was her Word by her ministers, so glorious was the Lord in the midst of her armies, that nothing could stand against her. She was "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." Heresies and schisms were swept away, false gods and idols lost their thrones; Jehovah Omnipotent was in the midst of His church, and He upon the white horse rode forth conquering and to conquer. Before long, however, you find it always has happened that there came an ebb-tide. Again the stream of grace seemed to recede, the poor Church was driven back either by persecution or by internal decay; instead of gaining upon man's corruptions it seemed as if man's corruptions gained on her; and where once there had been righteousness like the waves of the sea, there was the black mud and mire of the filthiness of mankind.

Mournful tunes the Church had to sing, when by the rivers of Babylon she sat down and wept, remembering her former glories, and weeping her present desolation. So has it always been—progressing, retrograding, standing still a while, and then progressing once more, and falling back again. The whole history of the Church has been a history of onward marches, and then of quick retreats—a history which, I believe, is, on the whole, a history of advance and growth, but which, read chapter by chapter, is a mixture of success and repulse, conquest and discouragement. And so I think it will be, even to the last. We shall have our sunrises, our meridian noon, and then the sinking in the west; we shall have our sweet dawnings of better days, our Reformations, our Luthers and our Calvins; we shall have our bright full noon-tide, when the gospel is fully preached, and the power of God is known; we shall have our sunset of ecclesiastical weakness and decay. But just as sure as the evening-tide seems to be drawing over the Church, "at evening time it shall be light."

We may expect to see darker evening times than have ever been beheld. Let us not imagine that our civilization shall be more enduring than any other that has gone before it, unless the Lord shall preserve it. It may be that the suggestion will be realized which has often been laughed at as folly, that one day men should sit upon the arches of London Bridge, and marvel at the civilization that has departed, just as men walk over the mounds of Nimrod, and marvel at cities buried there. It is just possible that all the civilization of this country may die out in blackest night; it may be that God will repeat again the great story which has been so often told: "I looked, and low, in the vision I saw a terrible beast, and it ruled the nations, but lo, it passed away and was not." But if ever such things should be—if the world should ever have to return to barbarism and darkness—if instead of what we sometimes hope for, a constant progress to the brightest day, all our hopes should be blasted, let us rest quite satisfied that "at evening time there shall be light," that the end of the world's history shall be an end of glory. However red with blood, however black with sin the world may yet be, she shall one day be as pure and perfect as when she was created. The day shall come when this poor planet shall find herself unrobed of those swaddling bands of darkness that have kept her lustre from breaking forth.

God shall yet cause His name to be known from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof,

"And the shout of jubilee Loud as mighty thunders roar,
Or the fullness of the sea,
When it breaks upon the shore,
Shall yet be heard the wide world o'er."

"At evening time it shall be light."

We know that in nature the very same law that rules the atom, governs also the starry orbs.

"The very law that moulds a tear,
And bids it trickle from its source,

That law preserves the earth a sphere,

And guides the planets in their course."

It is even so with the laws of grace. "At evening time it shall be light" to the Church.... Christian let us descend to lowly things. Thou hast had thy bright days in temporal matters: thou hast sometimes been greatly blessed: thou canst remember the day when the calf was in the stall, when the olive yielded its fruit, and the fig-tree did not deny its harvest; thou canst recollect the years when the barn was almost bursting with the corn, and when the vat overflowed with the oil; thou rememberest when the stream of thy life was deep, and thy ship floated softly on, without one disturbing billow of trouble to molest it. Thou saidst in those days, "I shall see no sorrow; God hath hedged me about; He hath preserved me; He hath kept me; I am the darling of His providence; I know that all things work together for my good, for I can see it is plainly so. "

Well, Christian, thou hast after that had a sunset; the sun which shone so brightly, began to cast his rays in a more oblique manner every moment, until at last the shadows were long, for the sun was setting, and the clouds began to gather; and though the light of God's countenance tinged those clouds with glory, yet it was waxing dark. Then troubles lowered o'er thee; thy family sickened, thy wife was dead, thy crops were meagre, and thy daily income was diminished, thy cupboard was no more full, thou wast wondering for thy daily bread; thou didst not know what should become of thee, mayhap thou wast brought very low; the keel of thy vessel did grate upon the rocks; there was not enough bounty to float thy ship above the rocks of poverty. You used both industry and economy, and you added thereunto perseverance; but all in vain. It was in vain that you rose up early, and sat up late, and ate the bread of carefulness; nothing could you do to deliver yourself, for all attempts failed. You were ready to die in despair. You thought the night of your life had gathered with eternal blackness. You would not live always, but had rather depart from this vale of tears. Was it not light with thee at evening time? The time of thine extremity was just the moment of God's opportunity. When the tide had run out to its very furthest, then it began to turn; thine ebb had its flow; thy winter had its summer; thy sunset had its sunrise; "at evening time it was light." On a sudden by some strange work of God as thou didst think then, thou was completely delivered. He brought out thy righteousness like the light, and thy glory as the noonday. The Lord appeared for thee in the days of old; He stretched out His hand from above; He drew thee out of deep waters; He set thee upon a rock and established thy goings.

Taken from Words of Cheer for Daily Life
A timely and needed encore presentation


Captured! said...

I can so relate to the heights and depths of the Lord's orchestration of the events and seasons of the Church...for they parallel my life point for point in this article.
It comforts me to know that others have gone before and can say this is what the Lord is doing, or this is the season now. Ive not experienced a lot of understanding in my recent walk with the Lord, much has been taken away. Many many months in the depths.... after many years in mountains of blessings and sweet communion with my God.

I heard a song by Ginny Owens last month, "I'll walk through the Valley if you want me to..." It was like a dawning, even prophetic if I may say so. I no longer ask how long, but Im letting go of despair and am allowing it to turn to acceptence and the next obedience. Joy comes on occasion. And I wait on the Lord.

littlegal_66 said...

Appreciate it, Campi. Great timing on this post.

He is our hope, He is our confidence, He is our trust.

I went with a group of married friends to see "Fireproof" over the weekend. I thought I was ready for the subject matter, but maybe I wasn't. In fact, at one point I had to exit the theater for a few minutes over the behavior of one of the characters. It was a difficult film for me to watch....but these words from Spurgeon have encouraged me today....and I know that when night falls, the light will come.



Chris Tolbert said...

Great post Campi.

Can't add anything, but just an observation. There aren't as many "iron sharpens iron" over posts like these. Nothing good or bad about that, just curious.

I appreciate you, brother.

Soli Deo Gloria!

tlharvey7 said...

wow....i needed an encouraging word like that today.
my family (wife and 4 kids) are stuck in a high interest mortgage that we just can't seem to refinance out of.
on the way to work today i started crying again. 65+ hours a week and we are barely making it. oven is busted, boiler barely runs (it was broken 2 weeks ago and i found the nessessary motor at a yard sale for $20.00! how good is our God!)
and we are out of heating fuel.
but!! God is really awesome and it has alost become a game. we become desperate and God comes through
you never know how or when, but He really does love His children.
i guess the good thing is that if this economy totally collapes, we won't be living much differently
i pondered this as i was reading through the 3rd chapter of Habakuk this weekend...

3:17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
3:18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
3:19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
who are we to shake our fist at God?
who are we to judge His soveriegn
hand in our lives?
this morning during my helpless sorrow i closed my eyes as i often do, and i can see myself in the wedding garb He has clothed me in.
and "the things of earth grow strangly the light of His glory and grace"

tlharvey7 said...

btw... i really like that painting!

Chad said...

Just a thought: I read here periodically about the danger of creating and following celebrities in the church. But doesn't that happen here with Spurgeon, Sproul, Macarthur, etc. Isn't this just a different set of celebrities whose theology we affirm?

SJ Camp said...

It is usually the case - but not always. Occasionally, on a more theological or biblical post like this one the comment thread is not as well attended. The nature of the beast as they say.

BUT, you keep on with all manner of entries knowing that the Lord will use them all for His glory and our good... Amen?


littlegal_66 said...


Here is another encouraging article on the topic, (this one penned by Campi).

Grace and Peace,


SJ Camp said...

To All:
This morning on the cruise, my good friend - Jerry Bridges, spoke on the providence of God in all situations. He highlighted three: Joseph being sold into slavery; Ruth and Boaz; and Esther.

He said something I had not really thought about before and it was a tremendous ministry to my own life. Commenting on Gen. 50:20 he said that the "though you meant it for harm, but God meant it for good..." - that the good there is not our good. IOW, someone meant an action for evil against us to harm us or hurt us; but the God worked it out for our good. He said that would be a wrong interpretation of that verse.

But rather, He works it out for the good of others... What someone might mean as evil against us; God still uses for good in fulfilling the purposes that He has designed that affect others and situations far greater than our own circumstances.

That really helped me work through the theodicy issue today (the problem of evil).

I hope that is encouraging for all of you today as well.

In light of the stock market's downturn yesterday and the subsequent events surrounding it, I am going to leave this post up another day with hope of it being an encouragement to as many as possible.

Learning to trust God each day for each day...

Psalm 139

Chris Tolbert said...


Only Look said...

It is a tremendous encouragement Steve. I deliver homes on my truck and thru this past year, half the plant is gone and some in the office as well as three other drivers. We don't know if we are going to have a job each day, but I am encouraging the other men to look to the Lord and to see that trusting in the God of eternal security is far greater than trusting in the god of financial security. I came into work this morning and the plant was shut down and my boss is looking for another job, but they say there may be some work ahead but it is tenetive. Somehow I had loads to deliver made from the prior week and to finish off the end of the month billing.

We also found out today that my wife did not get the job she was hoping for that would have greatly helped, but we are thankful that she still has a part time job at Walmart. God is good even if we feel rejected by circumstances.

God bless you for you thoughts from Jerry Bridges as well.

Times are tough, but God is a Rock in a weary land.

Grace upon grace,


gigantor1231 said...

S.J. and Y'all

All of your words are a great encouragement to me. He is the rock and you are all living stones!

1 Peter 2: 4-5

'4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.'

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (1 Pe 2:4-5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Carla said...


I'm glad you decided to leave this up another day. I've read it three times now.

Thank you for posting it.

Rick Frueh said...

I am an Arminian who hold Spurgeon as my absolute favorite preacher. He is the only preacher that has made me cry just from reading his messages on the cross and resurrection.

Our challenge as believers is to find all our joy in Christ, and never become attached to the temporal joy of this world.

Debbie said...

This is such rich and wonderful reading. Thank you.

Chris Tolbert said...


Our challenge as believers is to find all our joy in Christ, and never become attached to the temporal joy of this world.

Great quote!!

This is the point I try to make on my latest blog post.

Soli Deo Gloria

Psalm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SJ Camp said...

Our challenge as believers is to find all our joy in Christ, and never become attached to the temporal joy of this world.

I echo that as well. Excellent!