Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Does My Redeemer Live?

Can I honestly say, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and when I die, I will see God”? 

Pain comes in many shapes and sizes. It ranges from tiny cuts to torture to terrible disease to death. We’ve all experienced discomfort in some form or another. How have we responded? 

Gazing with earthly eyes, it appeared Horatio and Anna Spafford encountered tremendous tragedy (post from 10/9/16). And yes they faced unbearable pain. But the Spaffords lived life with a heavenly purpose, and though they lost children and material stuff, they trusted God to redeem all things. 

Remember: Horatio wrote “it is well with my soul”. 

Because they knew their Redeemer lived, they also believed their children lived with Him. They put confidence in the joy of knowing Jesus. They persevered through agony while looking forward to heavenly joy. 

Jesus knew heavenly joy, and He resolved on earth to endure pain because of the reward. Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2). He looked forward to the joy of life eternal, even as He faced unimaginable torture and death. And He did it for you and me!

Can I say, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and when I die, I will see God.”

An upright and blameless Old Testament Biblical character named Job also endured tremendous tragedy. Job and his wife survived the loss of possessions and children in one day. Through all this calamity, his body developed boils from head to toe. His wife taunted him with the temptation to curse God and die. 

Though he faced excruciating earthly situations and grappled with them, he eventually came to this confirming conclusion about God. In the midst of suffering, Job said without a doubt, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth” (Job 19:25). 

Job believed his Lord lived on in eternity and he knew he would see Him on the other side. He confidently made that statement to his friends who questioned his belief. He assuredly spoke those words as pain gripped his heart. He hopefully claimed his belief while miserable circumstances surrounded him. With resolution, he stood firm through his struggles.

Though I too struggle with earthly trials, with doubts, with fears for family, faith, my nation, and the world, I still desire to stand with Horatio, Anna, Job, and Jesus. I want to be able to say with courage and conviction, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and when I die, I will see God.”

What pain bears down on you now? What sorrows do you face? How are you responding to your situation?


Remember the trials of Horatio Spafford. Bear in mind the misery of Job. Be mindful of the fact that you have a Savior who died for you, a Redeemer who desires for you to experience joy with Him. `

Joy awaits, so stand firm in the power of your mighty Redeemer. Your soul will be well. 

P.S. Do you want to know the end of Job’s story? I hope you’ll read about it in the book of Job found in the Old Testament. In the meantime, pore over some statements below made by Job as he wrestled with the reality of his heartbreaking earthly trials and the promise of a joy-filled heavenly purpose.

My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? Psalm 6:3 (NIV)

This, at least, gives me comfort despite all the pain—that I have not denied the words of the holy God. Job 6:10 (TLB)

“Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Job 7:11 (NIV)

“I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. Job 10:1 (NIV)

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And I know that after this body has decayed, this body shall see God! Then he will be on my side! Yes, I shall see him, not as a stranger, but as a friend! What a glorious hope! Job 19: 25-27 (TLB)

Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor? Job 30:25 (NIV)

He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:3 (NIV)

Bless the Lord, the God of Israel, who exists from everlasting ages past—and on into everlasting eternity ahead. Amen and amen! Psalm 41:13 (TLB)

Enjoy praising your Redeemer...... - "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"  - Nicole C. Mullen - "My Redeemer Lives" 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Is It Well With My Soul?

Without a doubt, can I truly say, “It is well with my soul?” 

Last week in my blog post, I linked the song “It Is Well With My Soul” sung by Chris Rice. The powerful words of this old hymn tend to inspire me, but do I believe what I'm saying? Is it really okay with my soul if I lost everything, EVERYTHING—parents, husband, children, grandchildren, business, house, job? What if someone threatened to put me to death unless I recanted my belief in Jesus? How would I respond? Would I be able to gallantly sing this song? 

I recently asked myself those questions after an early morning phone call. A security company called our home telling my husband and me that our son’s house alarm was going off. My son, his wife, and their two children live in the home. The company couldn’t get an answer from either of their phones, so they called us. My mind scattered into a thousand possibilities. Did someone enter their home to burglarize and kill? Did carbon monoxide infiltrate their home and cause death. My racing mind landed in several scenarios while my body numbed and my stomach lurched. 

Praise God it turned out to be a false alarm, a mix-up with their phones. Thank you, Jesus, that my family is alive and well! And then I cried as questions rushed my mind. What if all was not well? Would I allow fear to take over?

Without a doubt, could I truly say, “It is well with my soul?” 

Consider the life of the one who penned the beautiful hymn—Horatio Spafford. This man and his wife encountered tremendous tragedies. In 1871 they lost their son to pneumonia. That same year they lost much of their business during the great fire in Chicago. Eventually they rebuilt the business.

Several years later, Horatio and his wife Anna planned a trip to Europe. An unexpected business glitch delayed Horatio’s travels, but he sent Anna and their four daughters on the scheduled ocean liner, promising to be reunited with them as soon as possible. 

Four days into the journey, the ocean liner collided with another ship. In less than fifteen minutes, 226 passengers, including the four Spafford girls, lost their lives as it sunk. A sailor, rowing a small boat near the accident area, discovered Anna floating on wreckage. He pulled her into his boat where they waited to be picked up by a larger vessel. 

Nine days later they landed in Wales. Anna immediately wired her husband and told him the horrible news. Childless—now the remaining four of their children dead. Unimaginable pain.

Horatio immediately booked passage on the next available ship. When passing over the area where his daughters met death, inspiration deep within his soul found its way onto paper.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul. 

How could he declare it is well with his soul? Who or what strengthened him to stand strong within a storm of sorrow? 

If you are familiar with church, the Sunday School answer is Jesus. And yes, the correct response is Jesus. But simply knowing the answer is not enough. Knowing Jesus personally gives affirmation of the source of strength and peace.

Only Jesus takes us through tragedy.

          Only Jesus strengthens. 

                    Only Jesus grants peace.

Horatio and Anna knew Jesus! They understood His strength and they understood His sufferings. They believed He suffered and died for them so that they could live eternally forever with Him.

Jesus encountered the cross for the joy set before Him, the joy of eternal life with the Heavenly Father, the joy for all who believe in Him as Savior (Hebrews 12:2). Even as He lived on earth, He gazed at the world through eternal eyes. Because of their belief in Jesus, Horatio and Anna regarded worldly issues with eyes turned toward eternity. 

A pastor who also survived the ocean liner disaster later recalled something Anna said about her personal catastrophe. “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why,” she stated with conviction. 

Horatio and Anna envisioned hope and a future with eternity's eyes. They believed in God’s promises. I believe those promises of God too—He has been good to me. He gives me courage to gaze toward eternity rather than dwelling on the situations around me. Can you look at your circumstances with eternal eyes? 

Without a doubt, can you truly say, “It is well with my soul?”

PS. God blessed Anna and Horatio with three more children, but one died at age four with pneumonia. Two of the children survived their parents. The Spaffords moved to Jerusalem in 1881. It is there that Horatio died and is buried.

Bless the Lord, the God of Israel, who exists from everlasting ages past—and on into everlasting eternity ahead. Amen and amen! Psalm 41:13 (NIV)

And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Mark 9:23-24 (NASB)

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4 NIV

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far
more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (TLB)

The Lord bless you, and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance on you,

And give you peace.’ Numbers 6:24-26 (NASB)

"It Is Well With My Soul" - Audrey Assad

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sustaining Peace

Quietly Still

I glimpsed a patch of radiant light
Among countless clouds of gray.
The peace that swept over me 
Will keep me all the day.

The circumstances in my life
Appear at times so bleak.
Refusing to accept the stress,
I choose my Lord to seek!

He waits for me to come each day
And sit upon His knee.
Desiring a personal relationship,
He loves and cares for me.

He offers spiritual nourishment,
The blessings of daily bread
He knows exactly what I need 
And goes wherever I tread.

I choose today to walk with You
And listen for Your will.
The way for me to know You:
Sit quietly and be still!

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Romans 5:1 (NLT)

But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.  Deuteronomy 4:29 (NLT)

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Give us today the food we need...   Matthew 6:11 (NLT)

God is our refuge and strength,
    always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
    and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
    Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! 
A river brings joy to the city of our God,
    the sacred home of the Most High.
God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
    From the very break of day, God will protect it.
The nations are in chaos,
    and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders,
    and the earth melts!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel is our fortress. 
Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
    See how he brings destruction upon the world.
He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
    He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honored by every nation.
    I will be honored throughout the world.”
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel is our fortress.  Psalm 46 (NLT)

"It is Well with My Soul" - Chris Rice