Let us begin with the words from the Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, reprint 5802, entitled “The Ministry of Sorrow” which reads in part as follows:
“In every experience of sorrow and distress, and when the strain of the jarring discords and the stinging vexations, and wounds that make the heart bleed, threaten to overwhelm the spirit, let the child of God remember that “He knows, and loves, and cares,” and that His ministering angel is ever near us, and that no trial will be permitted to be too severe. The dear Master is standing by the crucible, and the furnace heat will never be permitted to grow so intense that the precious gold of our characters shall be destroyed, or even injured. Ah, no! If by His grace the experiences may not work for our good, they will be turned aside. He loves us too well to permit any needless sorrow, any needless suffering.”
Our Heavenly Father is the God of all comfort and whatever difficulties His children encounter, because we are under His peculiar care, His compassion and watch care are ever present and he is most worthy of our praise.
Psalm 63:3 reads: “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.”
What are some of the means God uses to comfort us?
Here are several, including: conventions, the ecclesia arrangement, prayer communication, God’s overruling providence, Hymns and Psalms, Scriptures that provide doctrinal instructions, scriptures that contain precious promises for our meditation, guardian angels that intervene on our behalf when necessary and of course the Holy Spirit which enables us to appreciate and comprehend the Father’s tender mercies.
Ultimately, praise also will be an integral part of the human family’s make up, when they realize in the Kingdom the scope of what the Heavenly Father has done for them through the magnificent sacrifice of Jesus as well as the part we the body of Christ will have to play in helping to restore mankind back into heart harmony with God during that glorious Millennial reign.
We would like to suggest the 24th Chapter of Isaiah speaks of the judgments that will end this present evil order and then comment on what follows in Isaiah 25:1-9 which we feel pictures the expressions of humanity as a result of that glorious Kingdom in operation and mankind progresses up the Highway of holiness. So we will read each of these verses followed by a brief comment as to how we view these matters.
Isaiah 25:1 — “O Lord, thou art my GOD; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”
Here we would suggest Israel would desire to praise Jehovah especially for bringing them through Jacob’s trouble and ending the oppression they have endured at the hand of others. Similarly, others who fear God and recognize the restraint of evil and the opportunity for blessings will echo heartfelt worship to the Almighty and his Christ as they recognize the reign of righteousness that has commenced.
“2For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.”
The may well refer to the destruction of Mystic Babylon. Those who were once blinded under the influence of the adversary and the dogmas that vilified God’s character will worship the God of love and demonstrate a similar attitude towards their fellow creatures.
“3Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.”
The iron rule that will be in force.
Every knee must bow and every tongue must confess and accept the gracious provision on their behalf made possible through the redemptive merit of Christ in order to gain everlasting life.
“4For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”
This might refer to the downtrodden in this present life who were insignificant nobodies, but when Christ reigns in equity and justice, when the Spirit and the Bride say “come” all who have been athirst will be able to partake of the water of life freely.
“5Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.”
“6And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.”
Throughout the reign of sin and death the human family has been starving for blessings and a ray of hope that things might be better for them. What joy they will have as they see the work of restitution in progress. The wine of pure doctrine will bless them abundantly.
“7And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.”
This seems to speak about the eradication of the death sentence and the removal of the blindness that has covered the eyes of the human family, thus preventing them from seeing the glory and goodness of the Father.
“8He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.”
This would be a fulfilment of Revelation 21:4,9 — “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
“9And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
When the kingdom is established the human family will begin to comprehend his attributes and as they prosper under that arrangement how much they too will increase in their ability and desire to praise our Creator.
We have attempted to describe why the church now and the world during the Kingdom reign will have much reason to praise our Heavenly Father.
I would like to conclude with something that appeals to me by sharing the following concerning a well-known hymn — “All The Way My Saviour Leads Me.”
This great hymn was written by Fanny Crosby (1820–1915).
When Fanny was 6 weeks old, she caught a slight cold & had inflamed eyes. The family physician was away. Another country doctor was called in to treat her. He prescribed hot mustard poultices to be applied to her eyes, which destroyed her sight completely! It was later learned that the man was not even qualified to practice medicine. Fanny never felt any resentment against him, but believed it was permitted by the Lord to fulfill His plan for her life.
This is what Fanny Crosby said to her mother one day:
“Mother, if I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind … for when I die; the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.”
And another of Ms Crosby’s quotes:
It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.
Fanny’s spiritual development came from her grandmother who cared for her while her mother worked as a maid. A landlady, Mrs. Hawley, helped Fanny memorize the Bible. Often she learned 5 chapters a week! She entered the New York City Institution for the Blind around 1835, completed training, and taught there from 1847 to 1858. In 1858 she married a musician, Alexander Van Alstyne, who was also blind.
Under her own name, as well as under a curious assortment of initials and pen names, she wrote over 8,000 hymns, including: “I Am Thine, O Lord,” “Praise Him, Praise Him,” “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” “Blessed Assurance,” “Safe In The Arms Of Jesus,” “To God Be the Glory.”
Fanny needed five dollars one day and she just knelt down and told the Lord about it. Soon after a stranger knocked at her door as he just wanted to meet her. As he left, he pressed a five dollar bill into her hand. “I have no way of accounting for this” she said, “except to believe that GOD put it into the heart of this good man to bring the money”. “My first thought was that it is so wonderful the way the Lord leads me, and I immediately wrote the poem”.
In 1874, Fanny Crosby wrote the hymn “All The Way My Savior Leads Me”.
All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
I do not know whether Fanny Crosby was a spirit begotten child of God, but as I reflect upon her life, I can only hope that each of us will be more appreciative of the blessings we have today in Christ and will desire to live a life of praise daily for all our Heavenly Father has done for us.
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