By Keith Chandler
Journey Christian Church
Charles Spurgeon said, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”
The Rock of Ages is a name for God. It reinforces the fact that God is unmovable and strong. He is our sanctuary and our security.
Isaiah 26:4 says, “Trust the Lord forever, for the Lord our God is the Rock of Ages.” Spurgeon uses the metaphor of a wave to help us understand suffering and hardships of life.
The Bible would teach us to kiss the wave, to embrace the wave, because God’s doing something in us during that time that doesn’t happen at other times in life. There are some things that God teaches us in the waves that we just don’t do a very good job of learning laying out by the pool.
Charles Spurgeon struggled with depression most of his life. Some of you know how debilitating that can feel especially when it doesn’t go away. It was a constant companion. His wife was bedridden for about twenty-five years of their marriage. He faced incredible opposition for some of what he would preach. He spoke out strongly against American slavery and was persecuted as a result.
Speaking about suffering, he wrote, “I have been cast into ‘waters to swim in,’ which, but for God’s upholding hand, would have proved waters to drown in. I have endured tribulation from many flails. Sharp bodily pain succeeded mental depression, and this was accompanied both by bereavement and affliction in the person of one dear to me as life (speaking of Susannah, his wife). The waters rolled in continually, wave upon wave. I do not mention this to exact sympathy, but simply to let the reader see that I am no dry-land sailor. I have traversed those oceans. I know the roll of the billows and the rush of the winds. Never were the promises of Jehovah so precious to me as at this hour. Some of them I never understood until now.”
He would die four years later.
Briefly, a few things we know about waves.
We know, first, that waves will come. Suffering is inevitable. Jesus said in John 16 to His disciples, “In this world you will have trouble.” You should be ready for that.
Peter writes, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you’re going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12 NLT
Don’t act like that just because you follow Jesus that you’re somehow exempt from the suffering of this world. We have the Rock of Ages. We have a sanctuary in the storm. We have the promises of eternal life.
But in this world we will have trouble. Don’t be surprised when it comes. We get caught off guard because of unrealistic expectations. We have our ideas of what life should look like and then when you experience something other than that, we say, “I never saw it coming.”
But Peter writes, “Don’t be surprised. Don’t have these unrealistic expectations of life.”
Another reason why we get caught off guard is what I would call an Unbiblical Theology. Peter says, “Since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude He had, and you must be ready to suffer, too.” 1 Peter 4:1 NLT
You follow a suffering Savior. Don’t be surprised when you suffer as well. We know that waves will come. The other thing we know is that waves will stop.
“Instead be very glad, for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it’s revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 4:13 NLT
I just want you to know it’s going to get a little bit rough out there. There are going to be a couple of rough waves that knock you flat. You never saw them coming, and it’s going to be scary. But it won’t last forever. It’s really just a moment. Before you know it, you will arrive at the port of heaven and the waters are calm. So take some Dramamine and hang in there. The waves are coming, but the waves will stop.
Revelation 4:6 says, “Before the throne there is a sea of glass that is like crystal.”
There are no waves in heaven. Many things will no longer be in heaven.
In heaven there’ll be no more cancer, no more divorce, rejection, loneliness, depression, middle of the night phone calls, no more crosses along the side of the road, child abuse, rape, road rage, addiction, drama, funeral homes, orphanages, nursing homes, waiting rooms, motionless ultrasounds or tiny caskets, no more tears, no more sorrow.
The Bible says, “No more pain.” No more waves. Revelation says, “He who is seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new.’” The waves will come; the waves will stop, but for now we worship in the waves.
Until next month,
7708 Van Dyke Rd, Odessa
Services Sunday at 10:00