Posted by: rcottrill | August 22, 2018

Trusting Thee More

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Words: Avis Marguerite Burgeson Christiansen (b. Oct. 11, 1895; d. Jan. 14, 1985)
Music: Wendell Phillips Loveless (b. Feb. 2, 1892; d. Oct. 3, 1987)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Avis Christiansen)
The Cyber Hymnal (Avis Christiansen)
Hymnary.org

Note: A resident of Chicago, Avis was married to a vice president of Moody Bible Institute. She wrote hundreds of fine hymns that have been used by the Lord to bless many. Love Found a Way, It Is Glory Just to Walk with Him, Fill All My Vision, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus Has Lifted Me, Blessed Redeemer, How Can It Be? and Only One Life are some of these.

We have an expression that can mean two different things, depending on how it’s used. It’s “no doubt.”

If we were to say, “No doubt the tornado did a lot of damage,” we mean it’s certain, it happened without question. But the words are sometimes used sarcastically. To say crossly, “No doubt you’re always right,” we mean the opposite is more likely true.

An example of the latter is found in the Bible. Job’s companions insist that his painful trials are due to God punishing him for some wickedness (which was not true), and he retorts sarcastically, “No doubt you are the people [i.e. the only wise ones on earth], and wisdom will die with you!” (Job 12:2).

But if we consider the phrase as a sincere expression of certainty, we’re dealing with matters of faith. To return to the original example, because of our knowledge of tornadoes, and perhaps a personal experience of their destructive force, we can say with some confidence that we know what happened. However, tornadoes are quirky things. They can flatten one house, and leave the one beside it untouched. Or they can expend their energy safely in an open field, merely stirring up dust.

When it comes to spiritual matters, we can sometimes be even more uncertain. And the Bible gives us examples of those who struggled to trust in God when they needed to.

One day the disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee when a storm arose. In their distress, the Lord Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. Impetuous Peter asked if he could do the same, and the Lord invited him to come. He began well but, as fear gripped his heart, he began to sink. “Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:31).

Several times Christ rebuked His followers for the littleness of their faith (e.g. Matt. 6:30; 8:26). After His resurrection, He appeared to the disciples. At first, they were terrified, supposing maybe they were seeing a ghost. “And He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see’” (Lk. 24:38-39).

Many of us take some encouragement from the man who brought His demon possessed son to the Lord, saying, “If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us” (Mk. 9:22). When Jesus asked him if he had faith, and “the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” (vs. 24). Yes, we know what that’s like!

We need more faith, as the disciples also did, when the Lord told them to be forgiving of a person who wronged them over and over. They replied, “Increase our faith” (Lk. 17:4-5). May that be our prayer too.

Surely, many Christians can identify with these appeals. There will come a day when, in the presence of God, faith will be confirmed by eternal realities. But for now, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (II Cor. 5:7). And we do believe, but our limited faith is constantly being challenged by the things we go through.

This brings to mind a gospel song called Trusting Thee More, by Avis Christiansen. Published in 1934, the song says:

1) Lord, keep me trusting Thee day after day,
Trusting whatever befall on my way;
Sunshine or shadow, I take them from Thee,
Knowing Thy grace is sufficient for me.

Trusting Thee more! Trusting Thee more!
May ev’ry day find me trusting Thee more.
Cares may surround me and clouds hover o’er,
But keep me, Lord Jesus, still trusting Thee more.

3) Lord, keep me trusting, till faith lost in sight,
I shall behold Thee in endless delight;
Trusting to Thee all that lieth before,
Daily, Lord Jesus, just trusting Thee more.

Questions:
1) In what area of your life do you need a stronger and more consistent faith in God?

2) What have you found that God has used to strengthen your faith.

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Avis Christiansen)
The Cyber Hymnal (Avis Christiansen)
Hymnary.org


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