I have a coworker who has five beautiful kids and is a really godly woman. A little while ago she was, to everyone’s shock, diagnosed with cancer. She’s now been through the whole deal, chemo, losing hair, remission. I’ve really been inspired by reading her blog and facebook posts. That’s a real trial. Not that it’s better or worse than my trial — one thing God has taught me through this is to appreciate everyone’s trial for what it is and not compare it to mine (month 3 can be just as hard as month 23, after all). But, as hard as it is to admit, her trial kept her looking into the face of death for some time, while trying to mother and minister. And it seems like she’s done a great job at glorifying God through it.
Today she posted some of these lyrics, from How Firm a Foundation, and they compliment yesterday’s post well. Not only are they from another classic hymn, but they speak of building a foundation that will hold up in these tough times.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
What amazingly strong and tried truths are contained in that old song!
For many years in my Christian life, I’ve always kind of gawked, or was just confused at, the emphasis so many Christian put on trials. I would hear the songs and sermons and scripture and think, “Man, these people must really have hard lives, and I’ve got it good.” Now I see that a lot of that wasn’t spoken to believers in their trial, but to prepare for the trials. Trials are expected, even promised. You will be refined and tested and grown through struggle. That being said, you need to get ready for when those times come. It’s often too late to build the foundation once the storm has come. You need to get ready beforehand.
If you’ve stumbled upon this blog but aren’t currently facing a trial, I encourage you to start building your foundation now. Memorize verses, store up songs and sermons, strengthen your faith and own the truths that will carry you through the trials that are sure to come. You’ll be glad you did when they get here!
Here is a pretty, updated version of the hymn above to encourage your heart today: