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Publication: Banner of Love, 2/17/1977
Author: Virgil F. Lowrance
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   At this writing (February 17, 1977), my wife and I are slowly recuperating from the worse spell of the flu we have had since 1918, or so it seems to us. We do hope and pray that the recovery (seemingly very slow to us) will continue until we are fully restored to our usual state of health.

   As for me, my complaint goes deeper than natural health and prosperity! Not only have I been racked with bodily pain and physical strength brought to a low ebb, but I have been brought to spiritual poverty! My soul languisheth in sorrow, and I wonder, do I really know the Lord? I have never had a personal encounter with Him in the way and manner described by many. I have never, at any time, “seen His shape nor heard His voice”! I cry for true spiritual wisdom and knowledge and fear that the best I can muster is only that which “Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.” (Job 28:22) So, I sometimes fear that all I know is just “about Him”! “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” (Isaiah 45:15) “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but 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;…” (Job 23: 8,9)

   If my complaint seems to be bitter (and sometimes it is), let me hasten to say, thank God, it is not hopeless! Although I cannot claim the “personal encounter” that I sometimes long for, I can, at times, truly cry, “What is this that in my soul is rising? Is it grace? Is it grace?” Sometimes, “I am cast down in body and soul!” But, again, why is it that, “Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib!” (Song of Solomon 6:12)

   Truly, many other such things I can bear witness to. From whence, then cometh such feelings? Such hopes and aspirations? Surely, they do not grow on nature’s soil! I do not wish to continue at length, but will sum up with the words of an old hymn, which is a paraphrase of Job. “What shall I do? Shall I lie down and sink in deep despair? Will he forever wear a frown, nor hear my feeble prayer? No, He will put His strength in me. He knows the way I’ve strolled, and when I’m tried sufficiently, I shall come forth as gold.”

   Cast down, but not destroyed!

larry heldman  

Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)
Elder James Compton was the original founder of the 'Gospel of Grace Tape Supply.' His collection of tapes began as he traveled to Church meetings and Associations recording sermons on Reel to Reel. He has maintained this library of sermons faithfully over the years and are now the foundation of PB Sermons. org. This web site is dedicated to Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)