Streams in the Desert - May 10

by L. B. E. Cowman and Jim Reimann

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I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord. . . . Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage. (Psalm 27: 13– 14 NASB)

Do not despair!

Oh, how great the temptation is to despair at times! Our soul becomes depressed and disheartened, and our faith staggers under the severe trials and testing that come into our lives, especially during times of bereavement and suffering. We may come to the place where we say, “I cannot bear this any longer. I am close to despair under these circumstances God has allowed. He tells me not to despair, but what am I supposed to do when I am at this point?”

What have you done in the past when you felt weak physically? You could not do anything. You ceased from doing. In your weakness, you leaned on the shoulder of a strong loved one. You leaned completely on someone else and rested, becoming still, and trusting in another’s strength.

It is the same when you are tempted to despair under spiritual afflictions. Once you have come close to the point of despair, God’s message is not, “Be strong and courageous” (Josh. 1: 6), for He knows that your strength and courage have run away. Instead, He says sweetly, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46: 10).

Hudson Taylor was so weak and feeble in the last few months of his life that he told a friend, “I am so weak I cannot write. I cannot read my Bible. I cannot even pray. All I can do is lie still in the arms of God as a little child, trusting Him.” This wonderful man of God, who had great spiritual power, came to the point of physical suffering and weakness where all he could do was lie still and trust.

That is all God asks of you as His dear child. When you become weak through the fierce fires of affliction, do not try to “be strong.” Just “be still, and know that [He is] God.” And know that He will sustain you and bring you through the fire.

God reserves His best medicine for our times of deepest despair.

Be strong and take heart. Psalm 27: 14

Be strong, He has not failed you
In all the past,
And will He go and leave you
To sink at last?
No, He said He will hide you
Beneath His wing;
And sweetly there in safety
You then may sing.


Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 189). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Categories: spiritual