I would like to start today’s series ending message with a powerful poem from Annie Johnson, 1866-1932. Her mother died at 23 years old while giving birth to her sister when Annie was only 3. Soon afterward while she was still in grade school her dad gave her, along with her sister, to be adopted by a Christian couple, and then shortly afterward he died for an incurable disease. Sadly, when she was in her late teens both her adopted parents died within a few months of each other.
Alone in the world with just her sister and Aunt, she developed a very bad case of arthritis that caused her great pain for the rest of her life, making it hard for her even to write or walk. Yet she never lost her faith in God or passion for writing, despite her many years of pain and poverty. Below is one of her most famous poems, “He Giveth More Grace,” that shares her love for God’s grace in the midst of life’s hardships.
- He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
- When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
- Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
- His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
Ephesians 3:16-20, “16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
REVIEW // GOD’S HEART…
- FOR YOU: God wants your heart to be, “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God,” Ephesians 3:19.
- FOR THE CHURCH THROUGH THE ELDERS: The church will only be successful when God’s heart is in all of us, 1 John 3:16.
- FOR YOUR FAMILY: God want His love to be the center of your home, Ephesians 3:14-15.
- FOR CHICAGO: God cares about Chicago, even when Chicagoans don’t care about Him, Jonah 4:9.
- FOR YOU DURING TRIALS: Trust God’s love, that everything is Father-filtered and will work for your good, Romans 8:28.
- FOR YOUR PURPOSE: God loves you and your identity and purpose is not in what you do, but in who He said you are, 1 John 3:1.
- FOR YOUR THOUGHT LIFE: God will loving keep your mind in perfect peace, when you keep your mind on Him, Isaiah 26:3.
1 John 4:18-19, “18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.”