“God’s children run home when the storm comes on.”
--Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Here is an absolute of life: God allows rain to fall on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45 KJV). To be a card-carrying member of the human race means that bad times and bad things are going to happen to each of us, simply because of the fallen condition of man. The difference between the Christian and the unbeliever? The Christian has God to lean upon. The unbeliever—no matter how talented or resourceful--does NOT have God to lean upon in a time of loss or crisis.
The world is ‘going through’ the Wuhan Virus pestilence. No one knows with any degree of certainty when this will pass, or when things will return to ‘as close as’ normal as possible. Hundreds of businesses have closed. Millions have lost their jobs or have switched to new ones. In some portions of the country, some of our ‘brainy’ health experts and elected officials—in their efforts to battle this pestilence—have themselves fallen victim to the virus.
Did I mention that the one institution designed to help fight the virus remains closed in some sections of our country? That institution is THE CHURCH! Nevertheless, the KJV Bible is always open to provide answers, comfort and truth in times of cloudy days and foggy nights.
To borrow a line from Charles Haddon Spurgeon: “Cheer up my comrades!” IF we continue to fight our way forward, even though many of our paces have slowed and we are suffering losses that we had not counted upon, we shall have the victory! To be one who follows the principles of the Scriptures and have a firm relationship with the God of the Bible is not being unfamiliar with setbacks in the daytime—or the nighttime. It is learning and growing through them.
A THUMBNAIL SKETCH OF SPURGEON:
Spurgeon was a world-famous preacher of a bygone era. His sermons were so widely circulated that he became known as ‘the Prince of Preachers’. However, on the other side of his successes, there were cloudy days and foggy nights. Spurgeon lost friends because of a church stampede that was started by a crazy man. He suffered from bouts of deep depression. His loving wife wound up nearly an invalid because of something going wrong during a surgery to correct a medical condition. Jealousy came at Spurgeon from within his denomination and from the media outlets of his day. He had some sixty ministries which he started and supported but was largely ostracized by fellow preachers because of doctrinal and biblical stands which he took—and maintained. Nevertheless, praises are STILL sung about Spurgeon’s service to God in his preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified to this day.
His critics? Mostly forgotten on the pages of denominational history.
To expound: IF you want to be successful, you must take the lumps that go along with it. Some of those lumps will come from those who are the closest to you AND whom you have helped over the years achieve THEIR dreams. Amen?
Yes, there are other preachers we know because of history. However, some of the named ones did not suffer as Spurgeon suffered. His life was a fifteen rounder, with him being carried into glory by the champion of our souls, Jesus Christ. The Lord lifted Spurgeon’s hands in victory. He lived the Savior he preached about.
When adversity stalks your path, how will YOU be remembered my friend? Sniffing and whining about ‘how unfair’ people have been towards you, or ‘how unfair’ life has treated you? Unfortunately, this is what passes for adulthood these days. When things go wrong, play the man like Spurgeon. Get back into the game of life and trying one more time to work towards your dream becoming a reality.
I’m not just talking through my hat. As I put the finishing touches on this column for the month, I’ve been put upon. Sometimes, you have to brush the dust off your pants from where the mule kicked you and move on. It is NOT mandatory that you have to correct the fools of life. Sometimes, when a door closes on a dream it is because there are people with whom God does NOT want you to associate…for His glory! Some of them, unfortunately, fellow Christians!
MORE TAKE-A-WAYS FOR GROWTH:
There is another absolute of life. To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48 KJV). You want to have a successful business or career? Expect a LOT of preparation, sweat and—yes, even disappointment. There are, sadly, times that life unpacks itself and will block you or even stop you in your tracks.
Many in today’s society have not experienced suffering, bad times, cloudy days or foggy nights. They have gotten soft because many of the challenges of life have been ‘whittled’ down by folks who have led them to believe that they are ‘entitled’ to high wages and perks. The Wuhan Virus has leveled the playing field for months—if not years. There is no such thing as ‘safe’ or ‘long term’ employment. If one does not take a preparatory and maintenance attitude towards their employment or business—when the bad times come (and they come unexpectedly) many will be unprepared and immobilized.
To the courageous, it is still forward they KNOW they must go. The successful are NOT successful only because of a ‘great’ business plan, or ‘connections’. The successful ARE successful because they ‘got up’ one more time than they were knocked down.
My friend, if you need a take-a-way from this series of mine, remember this: Bible Economics is a lifelong course of intense study AND application. The adventure begins every time you open your eyes—and your KJV Bible. Just as worms are dug up by birds each day, you have to be in your Word each day, digging out the wealth God has for you between its covers.
You will find, in many cases, there is a reason why a well-read Bible is your BEST friend.
A LESSON FROM A BULLDOG!
One of the great stories of determination and not quitting comes from the urban animal kingdom. Maybe you have heard this one…but it is still worth telling. A family moved into a neighborhood, and they brought with them two large bird dogs. They would daily release their dogs for exercise in their backyard. A bulldog happened past the yard, saw the two dogs, and decided to pay the dogs a visit to show them who was ‘top dog’ in the neighborhood.
The bird dogs made quick work of the bulldog this first day.
You could almost hear the bird dogs ‘high fiving’ each other after their ‘scrap’ with the bulldog. The bulldog staggered back to his doghouse, nursed his wounds and laid in the sun. The next day, the fight was repeated, and the results were the same…the bird dogs won, and the bulldog lost. For the next two weeks, when the bird dogs were in the backyard, they could count on a visit from the bulldog. On day fifteen of this, when it was time for the bird dogs to head outside—they REFUSED—opting instead to whimper and to stay in the basement. The bulldog came down the street looking for them…and the bird dogs were nowhere to be found. When they didn’t show up, the bulldog barked and barked at the backyard—a tribute to him successfully having the victory over his enemies.
The bulldog strutted back to his doghouse, satisfied that he had achieved his objective.
REACH FORTH! (PHIL. 3-13-14 KJV):
You may have been in your job for years. It may be gone in an afternoon via a pink slip. You may be suffering in a job that has nothing to do with your skill set, as the way to that start in your career path may be blocked. You may have built your business brick by brick. A storm could come through and destroy every brick, leaving you with an empty lot and not a hint of income in sight. Life is not like a podcast or a streaming video. It does NOT turn out with everything resolved at the end of an hour, or when the timer goes off on your microwave!
Sometimes, you MUST have the grit and perseverance to deal with the cloudy days and foggy nights of your situation just like our friend the bulldog. You need to size up the problem and keep on scrapping against it, until the sun shines and makes your problem to flee from you. Reach Forth! The sun may just shine in a new opportunity that you had not previously contemplated, making your old ‘solution’ a thing of the past. Reach Forth!
If you failed yesterday, it only means that you have HAD that experience—but that experience does NOT rule your today. Failure is not fatal, nor is it final. Remember: Noah went into the Ark a minority with God. He came out with God…in the majority! The same may be said for cloudy days and foggy nights. They are only for a season. Reach Forth--God’s way!
Mike Ramey is a Minister, Book Reviewer, P-School Ranger, Modern Street Gangs Specialist and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The Bible Economics Line” is one of a variety of columns that Ramey has in cyberspace. To drop a line…or a whine: firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2020 Barnstorm Communications International.