Because Thy promise I believe
O Lamb of God, I come, I come
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Lk. 9:23)
Charlotte Elliott believed God’s promise that He would take her just as she was—bitter, broken, and bedridden. Her body racked with pain, her mind discouraged, her soul resentful. When she allowed Christ to lead her through the sufferings, she found inner peace though her body remained afflicted. Her heart was true, her faith vigorous, her spiritual health revealed to all. Her warm personality and kind words still touching 1000s to this day. Elliott willingly denied herself, her status, and her earthly comforts choosing rather to follow Jesus and grow in holiness and commitment to Him. “Just as I am”.
So simple that a child can understand it, so truthful that the heart taught of the Spirit instinctively approves it, so fervent that the soul is warmed into glowing ardor by its burning words, so grand and comprehensive that the departing saint delights to use it as he commits his blood-washed soul into the hands of his faithful Creator” (Bishop Stevens, 1860).
As believers, we can expect troubles, trials, and tribulations in our daily lives if we are to follow Jesus. We can also know the peace of God which surpasses all understanding when we present our requests to God (Phil. 4:6, 7). If our soul is miserable, we cannot expect to be at peace in our body. On the other hand, our soul can be at peace even though our body is troubled. When we place our anxieties and cares on Him, He gives us His peace. When the God of peace takes up residence within us, we can withstand the day’s difficulties because of Him. We can rest, we can trust, we can be confident that He is directing the circumstances of our lives. He sees us from heaven’s vantage point; we merely see from earth’s. Just as one day follows another, so does one cross follow another. Like Charlotte, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. Our cross is the suffering we must bear in order to fulfill the will of God. If we had no cross to bear, we would have no crown to wear.
Are you facing troubles and trials today? Is your body miserable? Is your soul joyful? How is your spiritual health being perceived by those around you? Are you willing to hold true to the cross—even when attacked by others? When trouble comes, will you determine to accept it, take up your cross and bear it as you struggle to follow Jesus today? “Because Thy promise I believe O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”