Streams in the Desert - Dec 31

by L. B. E. Cowman and Jim Reimann

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Thus far has the Lord helped us. (1 Samuel 7: 12)

The words “thus far” are like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. It had been “a long time, twenty years in all” (v. 2), but even if it had been seventy years, “Thus far has the Lord helped”! Whether through poverty, wealth, sickness, or health, whether at home or abroad, or on land, sea, or air, and whether in honor, dishonor, difficulties, joy, trials, triumph, prayer, or temptation—“ Thus far has the Lord helped”!

We always enjoy looking down a long road lined with beautiful trees. The trees are a delightful sight and seem to be forming a temple of plants, with strong wooden pillars and arches of leaves. In the same way you look down a beautiful road like this, why not look back on the road of the years of your life? Look at the large green limbs of God’s mercy overhead and the strong pillars of His loving-kindness and faithfulness that have brought you much joy. Do you see any birds singing in the branches? If you look closely, surely you will see many, for they are singing of God’s mercy received “thus far.”

These words also point forward. Someone who comes to a certain point and writes the words “thus far” realizes he has not yet come to the end of the road and that he still has some distance to travel. There are still more trials, joys, temptations, battles, defeats, victories, prayers, answers, toils, and strength yet to come. These are then followed by sickness, old age, disease, and death.

Then is life over after death? No! These are still yet to come: arising in the likeness of Jesus; thrones, harps, and the singing of psalms; being “clothed in white garments” (Rev. 3: 5 NASB), seeing the face of Jesus, and sharing fellowship with the saints; and experiencing the glory of God, the fullness of eternity, and infinite joy. So dear believer, “be strong and take heart” (Ps. 27: 14), and with thanksgiving and confidence lift your voice in praise, for:

The Lord who “thus far” has helped you
Will help you all your journey through.

When the words “thus far” are read in heaven’s light, what glorious and miraculous prospects they reveal to our grateful eyes!
~Charles H. Spurgeon

The shepherds of the Alps have a beautiful custom of ending the day by singing an evening farewell to one another. The air is so pure that the songs can be heard for very long distances. As the sun begins to set, they gather their flocks and begin to lead them down the mountain paths while they sing, “ ‘Thus far has the Lord helped us.’ Let us praise His name!”

Finally, as is their beautiful custom, they sing to one another the courteous and friendly farewell “Goodnight! Goodnight!” The words then begin to echo from mountainside to mountainside, reverberating sweetly and softly until the music fades into the distance.

Let us also call out to one another through the darkness until the night becomes alive with the sound of many voices, encouraging God’s weary travelers. And may the echoes grow into a storm of hallelujahs that will break in thundering waves around His sapphire throne. Then as the morning dawns, we will find ourselves on the shore of the “sea of glass” (Rev. 4: 6), crying out with the redeemed hosts of heaven, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Rev. 5: 13).

This my song through endless ages,
Jesus led me all the way.



Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 487-488). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Categories: spiritual