Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Singing when Facing Death

One of the many books (my copy is 33 years old) I am reading at the moment is about five guys who left their comfortable lives in the USA with the sole objective of making contact with some savage Stone Age killers, men known to all world now as the Auca Indians.

It was a plan filled with risk and potential danger but these young men believed that God was in control of their ultimate destiny. If they died it would be because God willed it so. If they lived it was so they could reach these primitive people with the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. 

An number of years before in 1949, Jim Elliott - one of the five young men, had written when he was at college "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose". These words have become an immortal expression of selfless devotion. They are a paraphrase of the words of the Lord Jesus which are recorded in Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24 and Luke 17:33. 

Do you believe anything so much that you would risk dying for it? I talking about the risk of suffering for your faith which could end in death! I am not talking about the extremist suicidal selfish destruction of yourself and others that is often the case in the modern world.

Time would prevent me from recounting the full story. If you 'Google' the words 'Shadow of the Almighty' and buy the book you will find the story very interesting and heart searching!

The famous five were hoping to make further contact with the Auca's and possibly move into the jungle to live with them. At lunch time, after their meal was finished, the five missionaries sang together a hymn that they had often sun. These are the words:

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender;
  We go not forth alone against the foe;
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender.
  We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.
Yea, in Thy Name, O Captain of salvation!
  In Thy dear Name, all other names above;
Jesus our Righteousness, our sure Foundation,
  Our Prince of glory and our King of love.
We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
  And needing more each day Thy grace to know:
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing;
  We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.
We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender:
  Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise
When reigning in the Kingdom of Thy splendor;
  Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

I find these words so moving! If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you will understand what I mean; if you are not you will find it hard to understand my emotion. 

You might ask - did God let them down? Was he with them? I am assured that he was, as they were. Psalm 23 states 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou are with me'. Hebrews 13:5 assures us that God has said 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee'.

I am praying that as you read today's blog that God will speak to your heart and that you too will trust the one who saves, and keeps and promises to be with you to the very end.

May God bless you.

As always you will find more information, blogs, podcasts and videos here and on www.seekthetruth.org.uk


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