January 23

“Why standest thou afar off, O Lord?” Psalms 10:1

“God is ‘a very present help in trouble.’ But He permits trouble to pursue us, as though He were indifferent to its overwhelming pressure, that we may be brought to the end of ourselves, and led to discover the treasure of darkness, the unmeasurable gains of tribulation.

We may be sure that He who permits the suffering is with us in it. It may be that we shall see Him only when the trial is passing; but we must dare to believe that He never leaves the crucible. Our eyes are holden; and we cannot behold Him whom our soul loveth. It is dark—the bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our High Priest; but He is there, deeply touched. Let us not rely on feeling, but on faith in His unswerving fidelity; and though we see Him not, let us talk to Him. Directly we begin to speak to Jesus, as being literally present, though His presence is veiled, there comes an answering voice which shows that He is in the shadow, keeping watch upon His own. Your Father is as near when you journey through the dark tunnel as when under the open heaven!” (Streams in the Desert)

We do not fully reach the heart of the Father until we come to the end of ourselves. Evan Roberts entered the Welsh coal mines as a young man as most other young men in Wales did at the time. On September 29, 1904, 26-year-old Evan went to a Meeting where Seth Joshua was preaching, and he heard the evangelist pray “Lord Bend us.” It seemed as if the Holy Spirit was telling Evan, “That’s what you need.” He fell on his knees with his arms over the seat in front of him and cried out, “Bend me, Bend me!” Joshua had been praying that God would raise up a man from the coal mines or fields to bring revival to the churches of Wales. God chose to use Evan. The meetings soon moved to wherever Evan felt led to go, and what is now termed the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905 swept across that land. The revival brought an estimated 100,000 converts into churches and sent spiritual shockwaves throughout Britain and even as far as Los Angeles. Evan Roberts’ simple prayer, “Oh Lord, Bend me,” blossomed into the theme of the revival: “Bend the church and save the world.” Brokenness always precedes renewal. The hope for the world is a broken believer fully bent to the will of the Father.

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