April 25th, 1956
"Hope, Joy and Peace"
Late Mr. N. Daniel
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that
ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." St.
Paul is speaking to us. He calls God the God of hope.
He is a God of hope. When things look topsy-turvy and very hopeless, He gives
us hope. As we remember all his good to us, it creates hope in us. He is not
good to us because we deserve it, but when He sees in us any desire towards
Him, He blesses us. He gives us joy and peace, the best tonics to this body. As
we pray more, we get the power of the Holy Spirit, who increases the hope we
have in God. When we are working against odds, the God of hope fills us with
hope. Faith, Hope and Love are the powers released in us when the Holy Spirit
comes. Faith that is creative, hope that does not fail and the love of God in
its unceasing flow comes to us. When David was in a desperate
situation he encouraged himself in the Lord. 1 Samuel 30:6, "…but
David encouraged himself in the LORD his God." David was with six hundred
people and their families in the wilderness. When he was away the families of
these men and his own wives were carried away by the enemies. The followers of
David were very angry and spoke of stoning him. They were desperate. David had
fled from Saul and from his home and relatives. Now his few followers and
trusted men wanted to stone him. But he encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
He thought of what God had done to him in the past, in the fight with Goliath
and with the lion and the bear. Count your blessings and name them one by one.
We do not encourage ourselves by counting our blessings. All our disappointments
are because we went our own way. God is not responsible for them but we are.
God is only praiseworthy and never blameworthy. God always wants to pour out
His full blessing upon us, but our bag is full of holes and cannot hold it.
Hence God wants to build our character first, put us in His discipline so that
we may retain His blessing and be an example to those around. The faithful God
whose nature is faithfulness, the loving God whose nature is love, how can He
go against Himself? Romans ,
"…that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also
to admonish one another." Those who talk to us must go back with
the impression that there is goodness in us. Though we may correct them they
must feel our goodness. Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit. We often develop
faults and need correction. Some of us are ill-informed. Beginners miscalculate
their strength and become proud. They commit many mistakes. They must be
patiently corrected with love. They must see goodness in us. Romans 15:2, "Let everyone of us please his neighbour for his good to edification." Do you edify
others? Please yourneighbour
to edify him? You must be prepared to do good to edify your neighbours.
Our Fellowship must be holy. There must be no anger, hatred or jealousy in
us. These will undermine the work. Ultimately there must be only goodness in
us. As you pray for the sick, you are gaining spiritually yourself. When you
are praying for sinners, you are gaining yourself. Do not say to yourself, "Why should I pray for that city? Others are labouring there. It is their burden, not mine." When
you learn to pray when others are working, you will be able to pray when you
begin to work. As you are praying, you are being charged with faith and hope.
When you pray for others, you must not do it haphazardly. You must do your best
in prayers. We must admonish one another in love—especially beginners must be
admonished. One day these beginners will be seasoned soldiers who will fight by
your side for the same purpose with weapons that will not fail. Let us bring
into captivity every thought that is not of God and hinders the revelation of
Christ. You are a personality capable of development to the perfection of
Christ. God wants us to be preserved to be like Christ.