… He has not yet dismissed you …

On a day such as today, at a time such as this, my eyes ran rampant following these words dancing off from the page as the Lord continued to speak and fall His treasures to my heart which serves like a repository of His fresh revelation.  These words speak much encouragement to myself and I believe also to my fellow brothers and sisters who are being called to step into a time and space such as now.  May this be an encouragement not only quietly undergirding this inescapable call to serve Him but also amplifyingly to others who are now discouraged, fearful, tired and or even lose heart.  How in the case where many know who Wilberforce is and what he had done in Britian and also for the greater cause for abolishing the slave trade.  Little did we focus on Wilberforce’s godly counsel who were around him speaking truth and light and encouragement when one, like Wilberforce, wrote “I have lately felt and now feel a sort of terror on reentering the world.”

John Newton, once a slave trader became William Wilberforce’s pastoral counsel.

newton

Excerpt from “William Wilberforce : A Hero for Humanity

“On July 21, 1796, Wilberforce wrote a letter to Newton that expressed his willingness to consider retirement from public life. Newton’s reply demonstrates why so many valued his counsel.  Urging his friend to stay the course …

“If, after taking the proper steps to secure your continuance in Parliament, you had been excluded, it would not have greatly grieved you. You would have  .. considered it as a providential information that the Lord had no farther occasion for you there.  And in this view, I think you would have received your [dismissal] with thankfulness.

But I hope it is a token for good that He has not yet dismissed you.  Some of [God’s] people may be emphatically said not to live to themselves.  May it not be said of you …

You meet with many things which weary and disgust you … but then they are inseparately connected with your party of duty; and though you cannot do all the good you wish for, some good is done …

It costs you something … and exposes you to many impertinences from which you would gladly be exempted; but if, upon the whole, you are thereby instrumental in promoting the cause of God and the public good, you will have no reason [for] regret …

Nor is it possible at present to calculate all the advantages that may result from you having a seat in the House at such a time as this.  The example and even the presence of a consistent character, may have a powerful, though unobserved, effect upon others  You are not only a representative for Yorkshire, you have the far greater honour of being a representative for the Lord, in a place where many know Him not, and an opportunity of showing them what are the genuine fruits of that faith which you are known to profess.

Though you have not, as yet, fully succeeded in your persevering endeavours to abolish the slave trade, the business is still in [process]; and since you took it in hand, the condition of the slaves in our islands, has undoubtedly been already [improved] … These instances, to which others … might be added, are proofs that you have not laboured in vain.

It is true that you live in the midst of difficulties and snares, and you need a double guard of watchfulness and prayers.  But since you know both your need of help, and where to look for it, I may say to you as Darius to Daniel. “Thy God whom thou servest continually is able to preserve and deliver you.

Daniel, likewise, was a public man, and in critical circumstances; but he trusted in the Lord; was faithful in his department, and therefore though he had enemies, they could not prevail against him.

Indeed the great point for our comfort in life is to have a well-grounded persuasion that we are where, all things considered, we ought to be.  Then it is no great matter whether we are in public or in private life, in a city or a village, in a palace or a cottage.  The promise, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” is necessary to support us in the smoothest scenes, and is equally able to support us in the most difficult.

Happy the man who has a deep impression of our Lord’s words, “Without Me you can do nothing” – who feels with the Apostle .. likewise a heartfelt dependence upon the Saviour, through whom we can both do and bear all things that are [part of] the post allotted us.

He is always near. He knows our wants, our danger, our feelings, and our fears.  By looking to him we are enlightened and made strong out of weakness.  With his wisdom for our guide, his power for our protection, his fullness for our supply, and proposing his glory as our chief end, and placing our happiness in his favour, in communion with him, and communications from Him, we shall be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.

May the Lord bless you my dear Sir.  May He be your sun and shield, and fill you with joy and peace in believing.

Such an appeal could not fail to strike a chord in Wilberforce’s heart.  Newton wisely reminded him that he had already accomplished a great deal – something often lost on those who strive for great things – only to find that their progress is incremental at best.

Wilberforce knew the loneliness of being a trailblazer.  There were few members of Parliament publicly known to be evangelicals.  It would have been a source of great comfort to recall a scriptural precedent of someone serving long, faithfully, and well under trying circumstances.  Wilberforce had not been imprisoned in a lions’ den like Daniel, but he had faced the threat of death several times in recent years.  Unlike Daniel, he had not been called to literally serve in exile, but he had been a political pariah for some time.  Newton also added his voice to that of John Wesley, who wrote just days before his death in 1791 to Wilberforce, commending his abolitionist labours :

Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils; but if God be for you, who can be against you?  Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.

Newton sincerely believed that God has set before Wilberforce the object of suppressing the slave trade, Newton’s last words of advice would have had the strongest appeal and offered the great comfort.”

* * *

This is my prayer for you all who are now on the frontline facing many trials, sickness and hurdles, may this song be your cry to the Lord, simply saying “I need You now, Lord!  If I ever needed you, now is the time that I need You, Lord!” In echoing a prayer that was being uttered, we pray against anything that is from the enemy that causes destruction and pray that all curses and vows in force against our precious ones will be nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ for He has all the power and authorities on earth as ultimately, the affairs of nations [Cambodia] are in the hands of the “Disposer of all human events”, our God is an everlasting God!

On this thirsty desert ground,
in a dry and barren land,
I bow down
I need You now

You will call and I will come
To Your river I will run
I bow down
I need You now

Oh, living water. Oh, God, my Savior,
If I ever needed You, I need You now
Oh, living water, Oh, God, my Healer,
If I ever needed You, I need You now

You’re the start and You’re the end
You complete what You begin
I bow down
I need You now

You will call and I will come
To Your river I will run
I bow down
I need You now

Just like the desert needs the blessing of the rain
Just like the winter, waiting for the sun again
I need you now
Just like a river as it reaches for the sea
Just like a song, it needs the sound of melody
I need you now
I need You now
If I ever needed You
I need You now

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