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Questions About This Life and the Next

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This Life and the Next

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Calvinism: Is it Biblical

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The Lifting Power of Praise


Excerpt from Figures of the True by Amy Carmichale, 1953



“I would rejoice in mountains to climb, but I see no mountains. I see only a dreary waste of water, a drearier strip of shore; nothing invigorating, nothing inspiring, nothing hard enough to inspire.


“My life is just like that - not so much hard as dull, and I would have chosen the hard to the last . . . It is the inability to do that is so devastating.”


     “Hast thou looked up?”


“Up? I see a mass of clouds. That is all.”


     “And nothing beyond the clouds? O look again. Is there no hint of light beyond? Are not the very clouds a marvel of controlled power, pillars of cloud and of fire?”


“My sight faileth me for waiting so long upon my God.”


     “So long? ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”


“It is written, As for me, when I am poor and in heaviness: Thy help, O God, shall lift me up. I wait to be lifted up.”


     “But it is also written, As for me, I will patiently abide alway: and will praise Thee more and more. Hast thou tried the lifting power of praise?”


“My sight faileth for very trouble. How can I praise when I cannot see?”


     “We can sing when we cannot see, even a little bird will sing in the grey dusk before the dawn breaks.”


“My soul melteth away for very heaviness, who can sing when his soul melteth?”


     “Tell me, is not thy heart’s desire to bring many sons unto glory?”


“That is all my desire, although He make it not to grow.”


     “Then there is only one way for thee; I know of no other way. If thou wouldest be inwardly victorious and help others to be victors, thou must refuse to be dominated by the seen, and the felt. Thou must look steadfastly through the visible till the invisible opens to thee. This is harder than to climb a mountain. It is indeed to climb out of the lowest abyss where the craven soul can crawl, and to walk on the sunlit uplands. It is to live in the spirit of the words of one who was to look out upon a duller stretch of water and a darker strip of shore than thou dost now. Ponder then his words: ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’


     “Live by the grace of thy Lord in the spirit of these words, for in them is the quality of eternity. Say of the will of thy God, ‘I am content to do it.’ Go through that depressing dimness without yielding to depression and without depressing others. All the resources of heaven are at thy command to enable thee to do this. Take a single promise of thy God; lean thy full weight upon it, and soon, very soon, thou wilt sing of the Lord because He hath dealt so lovingly with thee.”