Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

The Best Hidden Church in Norwich

The Cross

Over the past few weeks many churches in England have received a DVD from the Billy Graham Evangelist Association called "The Cross". Billy Graham, now at the age of 96 is still seeking as an evangelist to bring people into a relationship with Jesus Christ. In addition to an interview with him, the DVD also includes several clips from his now famous historic Crusades which lead to tens of thousands of people accepting Jesus Christ into their lives as their Lord and Saviour. Testimonies are also included by people who have found that coming to  "The Cross" was the key that changed their lives. Over the years "The Cross" has played an important part in the lives of people who have attended the Old Meeting House.

During the week the DVD arrived, I had been thumbing through an old book and I found this verse by Alfred Nevin:-

The cross on which the Saviour died,
and conquer'd for his saints,
This is the tree by faith applied,
that sweetens all complaints.

 I wonder if you might agree with me that people today seem to be full of complaints? Some of these complaints are justified but many are not. It seems that all of us at some time or another have to face hard things and bitterness enters our lives - a nagging illness, a difficult marriage, a carping critic that will not go away. The more we concentrate on these things and complain, the more unhappy we very often can become. There is an interesting story in Exodus where the Israelites after marching through the vast wasteland of Shur had expected to find water at an old oasis. However, whilst there was water there, it was undrinkable and had a bitter taste. That was a good reason to complain and grumble, don't you think? What was God playing at? Exodus 15:25 says that God pointed out a tree to Moses - a rugged piece of wood that grew beside the oasis - and told him to throw it into the water. When Moses did this, the water became sweet. 

We can sweeten that bitterness in our own lives if we choose to see each circumstance as God's choice for us and willingly accept it - saying "yes" to Him and to His will. He has chosen this difficult place for us; He has permitted this intrusion; it is His will that we here here. Someone has has said that  "Disappointment is His appointment," and we must also try to see things that way. F.B Meyer (1847 - 1929) the famous English Baptist evangelist  is reported to have said, "we are here in this place, whatever it may be, by (God's) appointment, in His keeping, under His tutelage, for His time." In this we must rest.


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