John T. Willis

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Be Not Dismayed

In my own life, I have had many times when life was very hard. My job has been threatened, I have endured intense medical concerns including several surgeries and a stroke, friends and foes have opposed some of my beliefs, I have been involved in injuries and accidents, just like many of you.

The season of Thanksgiving and Christmas is a time when many people are depressed because of loss of jobs, loss of friends, loss of husband or wife or parent or child, or setbacks, or ill health, and the events multiply. It is very easy for us to become distressed and "down in the dumps."

As we think of this period of time, PLEASE think of many of the things Paul endured during his life as he tried to serve God through Jesus Christ. Just one passage illustrates some of Paul's suffering--2 Corinthians 6:4-10. But NOTICE Paul's "eternal optimism" in all these losses.

"As servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute. We are treated as imposters, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying and see--we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything."

Life, and especially the Christian life, is very hard and challenging and touch and depressing. This is just the way life is. But with God's help and hope and support and grace and mercy, we can and will survive and prosper.

In 1904, Ciliaa D. Marin wrote the words of the song: "Be No Dismay Whate'er Betide," and W. Stillman Martin wrote the music. This is an old song, but its thoughts pervade even today. I hope these words will lift up YOU heart today.

First Stanza: Be not dismayed whate'er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath his wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.

Second Stanza: Thru days of toil when heart doth fail
God will take care of you;
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you.

Third Stanza: All you may need He will provide,
God will take care of you;
Nothing you ask will be denied,
God will take care of you.

Fourth Stanza: No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you.

Refrain: God will take care of you,
Thru every day, O'er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

As you face tough times today and in the next few weeks, remember that God will take care of YOU. Share YOUR feelings and frustrations with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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