Artwork of Penny Parker - Like the Sea Billows Roll

Peter lifts his eyes from the angry waters, and fixing them upon Jesus, cries,
"Lord, save me."  Immediately Jesus grasps the outstretched hand, saying,
"O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" --Matthew 14:30,31.

Like the Sea Billows Roll

When I was working in the data processing department at a hospital years ago, Joyce, a co-worker and dear friend of mine came up to me and startled me with her words: "Lydia, I know I'm lost. I'm not going to make it to Heaven."  What startled me the most was my friend was religious. She loved the Lord dearly. She read her Bible regularly and was very active in her church. She taught a Bible Study group and led out in different committees and projects in the church as well as in the community. It was totally out of character for her to say something like this to me.

"What makes you say that?"  I asked, unable to hide the shock her words had upon me.

"I don't know. Lately, I've been having these kinds of feelings, and I just don't have the desire anymore to read and meditate upon the Bible 'day and night' like the psalmist did."

I noticed that she put a strong emphasis on the 'day and night' part.  My mind was swirling, wondering how to help my friend who seemed to have lost her relish for reading and meditating upon the living Word of God.

Pausing momentarily and taking a deep breath, Joyce spoke softly. I strained hard to hear. "The language and style of the Bible are antiquated, so out-dated that I'd rather do other things like read books written in modern language, watch TV, even though I don't really like a lot of the programs they're showing these days."

Before I could say anything, my friend continued, unmistakable guilt showing in her voice: "I know you won't believe this, Lydia, but I do stuff I know I shouldn't. For one thing I don't give glory to God the way I eat."  She paused, deep in thought. Then from her mouth tumbled out words that could have come from the mouth of the Patriarch Job himself who uttered these immortal words in his quest to find a silent, mysterious God:

Oh that I knew where I might find Him,
That I might come even to His seat!. . .
Behold, I go forward, but He is not there;
And backward, but I cannot perceive Him:
On the left hand, where He doth work,
but I cannot behold Him:
He hideth Himself on the right hand,
that I cannot see Him.

Like Job, my friend, too, felt like the Lord was nowhere to be found. "Lydia, He's not there for me. He doesn't answer my prayers anymore. He doesn't want to heal me. I don't think He loves me or cares for me. I just know my case is hopeless."

Joyce went on and on pouring out her heart-breaking story of a supposed broken love-relationship between her and the Lord. I listened wondering what to say to encourage my friend who was at a very low point in her life--obviously going through a spiritual battle. What could I say that would convince her that the Lord had not abandoned her, that He was right there with her, waiting patiently for her to once more, reach out and grasp His hands, and lean on His everlasting arms. The arms that guide and sustain the universe and galaxies would not let her suffer to be tempted above what she was able to bear.

Granted, language-wise the Bible is archaic. It was written in the language of the time eons ago, but its contents, its contexts, its teachings, its habits of thought are as timeless and relevant as God Himself. In the tapistry of Holy Writ--from Genesis to Revelation--the name of Jesus was intricately woven in beautiful threads of gold. Thou shalt call his name JESUS for he shall save his people from their sins.  Written across the slate of time as with a pen of fire were the eternal words: The LORD our Righteousness; JESUS, KING of kings and LORD of lords.

For people like my friend Joyce who are not comfortable with the antiquated language of the Bible, there are many tools available today that can help decipher some of the mysteriousness of the old language. These tools include Bible lexicons, Interlinear Study Bibles (Greek, Hebrew, and English), Greek and Hebrew dictionaries, Bible Commentaries, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, other concordances, and different translations of the Bible. I personally like the out-dated language of the King James version. Even with the best of tools, however, our study of the Word of God would be of no avail without the Holy Spirit because the Bible is spiritually discerned. Pray for the Holy Spirit to be with you as you study God's Word.

In this fast-paced era with a thousand and one activities clamoring for our attention, the most difficult part of Bible reading and study is that we do not stay put long enough to reflect and contemplate upon what we have read and to hear God's still small voice. We do not meditate enough. We seem to rush into His presence and rush out from His presence, and as a result, we sorely miss out on a tremendous blessing. We have not discovered the joy of quiet and sweet communion with Him. But, nothing should keep us from reading our Bible, the only source where we can know Jesus Christ whom to know is life eternal.

As an educating power, the Bible is of more value than the writings of all the philosophers of all ages. In its wide range of style and subjects there is something to interest and instruct every mind, to ennoble every interest. The light of revelation shines undimmed into the distant past where human annals cast not a ray of light. There is poetry which has called forth the wonder and admiration of the world. In glowing beauty, in sublime and solemn majesty, in touching pathos, it is unequaled by the most brilliant productions of human genius. There is sound logic and impassioned eloquence. There are portrayed the noble deeds of noble men, examples of private virtue and public honor, lessons of piety and purity.

There is no position in life, no phase of human experience, for which the Bible does not contain valuable instruction. Ruler and subject, master and servant, buyer and seller, borrower and lender, parent and child, teacher and student--all may here find lessons of priceless worth.

But above all else, the word of God sets forth the plan of salvation: shows how sinful man may be reconciled to God, lays down the great principles of truth and duty which should govern our lives, and promises us divine aid in their observance. It reaches beyond this fleeting life, beyond the brief and troubled history of our race. It opens to our view the long vista of eternal ages--ages undarkened by sin, undimmed by sorrow. It teaches us how we may share the habitations of the blessed, and bids us anchor our hopes and fix our affections there. --Fundamentals of Christian Education, Pages 542-543.

The language and style of the Bible may be antiquated but the contents are relevant to generations past, present, and future. To say, however, that the contents of the Bible are out of date and obsolete would be preposterous. The Bible has helped millions of people from the beginning of time till the end of time. Millions who have died with the name of Jesus on their parched lips have seen the shadows of death burst into the glorious colors of the setting sun at the thought of the Sun of Righteousness.

I don't know if I encouraged my friend Joyce that day, but I shall never forget the incident. Oh, how we need wisdom from the Lord to help us encourage and lift up the spirits of those who are faced with physical and spiritual challenges and are on the verge of throwing in the towel. How easily it would be to be like Job's three friends who were more of a hindrance than help to poor old Job. "Miserable comforters are ye all,"  he told them. Oh, that we could impart to burdened souls what they need to hear the most--what they could find in the secret of His presence.

In the secret of His presence
how my soul delights to hide!
O, how precious are the lessons
which I learn at Jesus' side!

Earthly cares can never vex me,
neither trials lay me low;
For when Satan comes to tempt me,
to the secret place I go.

When my soul is faint and thirsty,
'neath the shadow of His wing
There is cool and pleasant shelter,
and a fresh and crystal spring.

And my Savior rests beside me,
as we hold communion sweet;
If I tried, I could never utter
All the joys when thus we meet.

Only this I know: I tell Him
all my doubts, my griefs and fears,
O, how patiently He listens!
and my drooping soul He cheers.

Do you think He ne'er reproves me?
What a false friend He would be,
If He never, never told me
of the sins which He must see.

Would you like to know the sweetness
of the secret of the Lord?
Go and hide beneath His shadow;
this shall then be your reward.

And whene'er you leave the silence
of that happy meeting place,
You must mind and bear the image
of the Master in your face.

--Ellen L. Goreh

So long as we live in this world of sin, temptations are inevitable. Our adversary the devil is as a roaring lion walking about and seeking whom he may devour. There will be times when we are tempted to have our faith in God waver, doubt our salvation and relationship to God, and think that God is our enemy, and He no longer loves and cares for us. Even when God doesn't seem to make sense, and pieces of the puzzle of our lives are missing, we need not despair but trust God for He is faithful who has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. God is sovereign and is in total control of His creation. In His own time, He will put all pieces of the puzzle together and bring order and beauty out of chaos. He will make everything beautiful and harmonious once again. Click here to read When God is Silent.

One thing that should be of comfort to those who are going through spiritual crises in their lives is that there is never a hopeless case with God. As long as there is breath in the body, there is hope for every human being alive on this earth for faith, salvation, and Heaven. Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the key in the hand of faith that unlocks heaven's storehouse where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence. Jesus has pledged Himself to open before us all His treasures. He says, Make use of My name, and it will be your passport to the heart of My Father, and to all the riches of His grace.

No one need say that his case is hopeless, that he cannot live the life of a Christian. Ample provision is made by the death of Christ for every soul. Jesus is our ever-present help in time of need. Only call upon Him in faith, and He has promised to hear and answer your petitions.

Never give up your faith and hope in God. Cling to the promises. Do not trust in your feelings, but in the Word of God. Believe the assurances of the Lord. Take your stand upon the plain "Thus saith the Lord,"  and rest there, feeling or no feeling. Faith is not always followed by feelings of ecstasy, but "hope thou in God."

Trust in the Lord as a little child trusts its earthly parent. Cling to the Saviour. Let nothing separate your soul from God. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).  Look for mercies; expect mercies. Look continually for blessings. See them, acknowledge them, and do not complain, do not fret. Do not cast blame upon God, but say, "O Lord, I do believe, though I am a sinner and because I am a sinner. I believe in Thee with all my heart. Thou art the Truth, and Thy Word I believe."

Look to the precious promises in the Word of God. All who are children of God have not the same powers, the same temperaments, the same confidence and boldness. Our feelings are no evidence that we are not children of God. The enemy will tempt you to think that you have done things that have separated you from God, and that He no longer loves you, but our Lord loves us still, and we may know by the words He has placed on record for just such cases as yours. "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 Jn 2:1). "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (chap. 1:9).

Now do not worry yourself out of the arms of the dear Saviour, but rest trustingly in faith. He loves you; He cares for you; He is blessing you, and will give you His peace and grace. He is saying to you, "Thy sins be forgiven thee."  You may be depressed with bodily infirmities, but that is no evidence that the Lord is not working in your behalf every day. He will pardon you, and that abundantly. Gather to your soul the sweet promises of God. Jesus is our constant, unfailing Friend, and He wants you to trust in Him. . .

Jesus sees the guilt of the past, but He speaks pardon; and we must not dishonor Him by doubting His love. This feeling of guiltiness must be laid at the foot of the cross of Calvary. The sense of sinfulness has poisoned the springs of life and of true happiness. Now Jesus says, "Lay it all on Me. I will take your sins. I will give you peace. Banish no longer your self-respect, for I have bought you with the price of My own blood. You are mine. Your weakened will I will strengthen. Your remorse for sin I will remove."  Then turn your grateful heart, trembling with uncertainty, to Him, and lay hold on the hope set before you.

Just as you are, come to Him, and trust yourself in His hands. Believe that He does accept you as He has promised. Do not try to do some great thing to recommend you to God, but trust in Him now, just now. . .Come by humble faith to Him who has never said to the needy and suffering, "Seek ye My face in vain."  We know that we are sinners and that we often err and are frequently overcome with temptations; but this should not lead us in our great need to keep away from the only One who can help us and save us from the power of Satan. This is the enemy's work to discourage and drive to despair. When we talk discouragement and gloom, Satan listens with fiendish joy; for it pleases him to know that he has brought you into his bondage.

What evidence have we of the matchless love of Jesus in that He left heaven and came to the earth to help us. He has said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Mt 11:28-30).

Let your mind dwell upon the goodness of God, upon the great love wherewith He has loved us, as evidenced in the work of redemption. If He did not love us, and consider us of value, then this great sacrifice would not have been made. He is beneficent in mercy and in grace. Let your heart and mind be at rest, like a tired child in the arms of its mother. His everlasting arms are beneath you. In all your afflictions Jesus is afflicted. What a privilege it is for you, now afflicted, to find a refuge in Jesus.

Do not be troubled. Jesus loves you, and will care for you and bless you. The active, aggressive battle you can no more fight, but you can let Jesus fight it for you. He says to you, "Give your case entirely into My hands. Be still, and know that I am God."

The Word is the living bread. Eat of it daily. It will be a sustaining power to do all that you must do. It will infuse immortal vigor into your soul, perfect your experience, and bring to you those joys which are real, and which abide forever.

There are many souls who, in their Christian experience, have passed through circumstances similar to yours. You must not trust to your impressions of unbelief. You must put your confidence in One who has given His life for you. Then you will be numbered among the receiving ones--among those who believe and receive His Word, and walk not by feeling, but by faith.

The Word of God is true. Faith takes hold of the divine Word, whereas feeling is naught else but something that eclipses faith in a "Thus saith the Word of the living God." . . . Wonderful is the work which God designs to accomplish through His servants, that His name may be glorified. You must not sink down in discouragement. Lay hold of God's promises with the faith of a little child.

I beseech of you to look away from yourself unto Christ, and live. Put your trust in the One who loves human agencies. Let your dependence be wholly on Christ. He is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. Believe, believe that Christ will pardon all your transgressions and forgive all your sins. Humble yourself as a little child, and Christ will receive you and bless you and strengthen you. Do not think unbelief or talk unbelief, but take God at His word, and leave yourself in His hands, to be taught and led of Him. . .

Comfort your heart by believing that the Lord wants you to be saved, and that you are His child. Do not think that your mind must be in a certain state of feeling or else you are not accepted of God. Your faith must rely not on feeling, but on the promises of God. Walk by faith...Rest your case with the Lord, and believe in His Word. Believe, oh, believe the Word of the Lord, and walk by faith, not by sight. Consecrate yourself anew to God. Be loyal and true and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ doth make you free.

You must educate yourself to believe, to take your stand on the elevated platform of eternal truth, and welcome reproach and trial for Christ's sake. Jesus will help you; angels of God will help you resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. . .

Believe Jesus loves you, and in your efforts to obey the truth, if you err, don't feel that you must worry and worry, give up your confidence in God, think that God is your enemy. We are erring mortals. If we sin, "we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1).  You cannot cleanse yourself from impurities. Carry all your burdens to Jesus. He will help you. He wants you to not wait and expect through your good deeds to make atonement for sin or to make yourself righteous. Trust in the merits of the blood of a crucified, risen Saviour. --Selected Pages from The Upward Look and Testimonies to the Church, 5T 215.

We are all familiar with the story of the Apostle Peter walking on the water with Jesus. What a beautiful and impressive lesson on faith and total dependence upon Christ that Peter learned that day. The story was recorded in sacred history for our benefit as we study to know by experience the faith of Jesus in our lives. Here's a brief account of Peter's walk on the water:

Looking unto Jesus, Peter walks securely; but as in self-satisfaction he glances back toward his companions in the boat, his eyes are turned from the Saviour. The wind is boisterous. The waves roll high. . .For a moment Christ is hidden from his view, and his faith gives way. He begins to sink. But while the billows talk with death, Peter lifts his eyes from the angry waters, and fixing them upon Jesus, cries, "Lord, save me."  Immediately Jesus grasps the outstretched hand, saying, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

Walking side by side, Peter's hand in that of his Master, they stepped into the boat together. But Peter was now subdued and silent. He had no reason to boast over his fellows, for through unbelief and self-exaltation he had very nearly lost, his life. When he turned his eyes from Jesus, his footing was lost and he sank amid the waves.

When trouble comes upon us, how often we are like Peter! We look upon the waves, instead of keeping our eyes fixed upon the Saviour. Our footsteps slide, and the proud waters go over our souls. Jesus did not bid Peter come to Him that he should perish; He does not call us to follow Him, and then forsake us. . .

In this incident on the sea He desired to reveal to Peter his own weakness,--to show that his safety was in constant dependence upon divine power. Amid the storms of temptation he could walk safely only as in utter self-distrust he should rely upon the Saviour. It was on the point where he thought himself strong that Peter was weak; and not until he discerned his weakness could he realize his need of dependence upon Christ. Had he learned the lesson that Jesus sought to teach him in that experience on the sea, he would not have failed when the great test came upon him.

Day by day God instructs His children. By the circumstances of the daily life He is preparing them to act their part upon that wider stage to which His providence has appointed them. It is the issue of the daily test that determines their victory or defeat in life's great crisis. --Conflict and Courage, Page 310.

James 1:6 reads: "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."  The Lord will do great things for us if we will only show our trust in Him. Faith is the spiritual hand that touches infinity, the hand by which we lay hold upon Christ and appropriate His merits. Faith and prayer are as two hands by which the human suppliant lays hold upon the power of Infinite love. By our fervent prayers of faith we can move the arm that moves the world.

What we want is that faith that will not let go, a faith that will not fail or be discouraged. Click here to read Songs in the Night, the life experiences of people, like you and me, who would not let go of God despite the silence of God in bringing needed relief for pain, suffering, and other adversities in their lives. They came to realize the sovereignty of God--that He would do according to His plans and purposes for all His creatures. He allows trials and afflictions to come our way for purposes He deems necessary for perfecting our characters. Are we going to allow Him to do it? Or, are we going to fight and resist Him every step of the way?

When temptations assail you, when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light. When Satan comes to you with his darkness, sing faith and talk faith, and you will find that you have sung and talked yourself into the light. When sin struggles for the mastery in the heart, when guilt oppresses the soul and burdens the conscience, when unbelief clouds the mind, remember that Christ's grace is sufficient to subdue sin and banish the darkness. Entering into sweet communion with the Saviour, we enter the region of peace.

When we come to the hardest places, we may know that all heaven is interested and will bear us up, if we will not fail or be discouraged. Cling to the mighty One. Do not talk unbelief at all, because the more you talk unbelief the more unbelief you will have; and the more you talk darkness, the more darkness you will have; and the more you talk light, the more light you will have; and the more you talk faith, you will have faith. --Sermons and Talks, Pages 305-307.

And the more faith we have, the more confidence we have in the God of our salvation. Feelings of discouragement, depression, and despair would be swept aside and banished from the soul. Darkness and gloom would be lifted. Clouds of doubt and unbelief would dissipate, and the sunshine of love, hope, joy, peace, and contentment would shine upon hearts that were once grown cold from unbelief. Jesus has taken its rightful place on the throne of our hearts. We realize, then, that we could not fail if we are walking with the King. How could we lose out on salvation with Him by our side? How could we be lost and not make it to Heaven with the Shepherd guiding and holding our hands every step of the way? We couldn't!

But we must first reach out for His hand for He will not hold our hands against our will. He will not save us against our will. We marvel greatly at God's love and forbearance towards us. We bow down and worship Him gladly. We lift our voices in praise and adoration for now we can truly sing: Since Jesus came into my heart, since Jesus came into my heart, floods of joy o'er my soul like the sea billows roll, since Jesus came into my heart.

Like the Sea Billows Roll

Since Jesus Came Into My Heart

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o'er my soul Like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I have ceased from my wand'ring and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And my sins, which were many, are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o'er my soul Like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I'm possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o'er my soul Like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

There's a light in the valley of death now for me,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And the gates of the City beyond I can see,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o'er my soul Like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I shall go there to dwell in that City, I know,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And I'm happy, so happy, as onward I go,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o'er my soul Like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

--Rufus H. McDaniel

Like the Sea Billows Roll

Like the Sea Billows Roll Like the Sea Billows Roll Like the Sea Billows Roll Like the Sea Billows Roll

Dreamwork Designs - Like the Sea Billows Roll

Penny Parker's artwork was used for Like the Sea Billows Roll

Since Jesus Came Into My Heart Midi