Elise and Joe Have suffered for a long time. They have a son who is addicted to drugs.
Mary’s Daughter Is about to move out to live with her non- Christian boyfriend.
Melanie Has a wonderful husband and three young children – She has just found out that she has terminal cancer.
All these thorns - and yet a blind man could say… My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorns. I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross; but I have never thought of my cross as itself a present glory. Teach me the glory of my cross; Teach me the value of my thorn!
THE APOSTLE PAUL SAID: A thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 2 Corinthians 12:7
Concerning this thing, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Rejoice in hope of the glory of God because we have been justified by faith and therefore have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. But also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance produces character; and character produces hope; and hope does not disappoint! Romans 5:1-5 (paraphrased)
God has not left us alone to suffer the thorns… Jesus promised: I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive. [John 14:16-17]
Four Examples of Well-Known Hymn Writers: What a friend We have In Jesus O Love that Will not let me go He lives When the roll is Called up yonder Joseph ScrivenGeorge Matheson Alfred AckleyJames Black
A Life Full of Thorns Joseph Scriven had many more thorns in his life than roses… He survived two brides, both of whom died in tragic accidents, and he never married. Yet he wrote to his mother: What a friend we have in Jesus! Joseph Scriven (1819-1886)
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS What a friend we have in Jesus, All ours sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer. O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer. Words Joseph Scriven (1819-1886); Music Charles Converse (1832-1918)
Blind preacher George Matheson was saved from suicide by trusting in God. Despite his trials, he could say: “My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns…” And then he wrote: O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go George Matheson (1842-1906)
Think again about what he said… My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorns. I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross; but I have never thought of my cross as itself a present glory. Teach me the glory of my cross; Teach me the value of my thorn!
O LOVE THAT WILT NOT LET ME GO O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee. I give Thee back the life I owe, That in Thine ocean depths its flow May richer - fuller be. Words George Matheson (1842-1906); Music Albert Peace (1844-1912)
O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee. I trace the rainbow through the rain And feel the promise is not vain That morn shall tearless be. Words George Matheson (1842-1906); Music Albert Peace (1844-1912) O Joy that seekest me through pain…
The Question of an Unbeliever This story is a rose amidst the thorns A Jewish friend asked Ackley: WHY SHOULD I WORSHIP A DEAD JEW? And Ackley spontaneously answered: BECAUSE HE LIVES! And thus this song was born. Alfred Henry Ackley (1887-1960)
HE LIVES I serve a risen Saviour, He's in the world today. I know that he is living, Whatever men may say. I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer. And just the time I need Him He's always near. Words & Music Alfred Henry Ackley (1887-1960)
He lives - He lives! Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me Along life's narrow way. He lives - He lives! Salvation to impart. You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart. CHORUS Words & Music Alfred Henry Ackley (1887-1960)
Bessie’s Story A little girl gave her life to Christ and faithfully attended Sunday School. But one day there was no response to the usual ‘yes’ at the roll call. A few days later she died, and her roll call was answered in heaven. Black wrote this song for her, which was first sung at Bessie’s funeral: When the roll is Called up yonder I’ll be there! James M Black (1856 – 1938)
WHEN THE ROLL IS CALLED UP YONDER …I’ll be there! When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound And time shall be no more, And the morning breaks eternal bright and fair. When the saved of earth shall gather Over on the other shore, And the roll is called up yonder I'll be there. Words and Music: James M. Black (1856-1938)
CHORUS: When the roll is called up yonder, When the roll is called up yonder I'll be there! Words and Music: James M. Black (1856-1938)
When the roll is called up yonder… Will YOU be there?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Revelation 20:15 (Great White Throne Judgment) And WHOSOEVER was NOT found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Finally, a Word about Attitude Godly success is NOT about fame in this world, or riches… but about trusting in God and following His ways. Trust in the LORD with all your heart And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him And He shall direct your paths. Prov.3:5-6