“Through It All”

October 20, 2016

Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, CA 10/19/16
We are staying in a home located on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard so we are thoroughly enjoying daily walks along the ocean, quite a contrast to our typical rural Pennsylvania walks that capture God’s creative beauty in another way!

“Through It All”

Message Summary: Some of you are going through a hardship as you read this today. You may be facing tremendous obstacles with tightly shut doors. You just don’t know how, when or even if it will work out. Hold on my friend, keep your faith, and stay true to the Lord. You will have a glorious testimony in God’s due time!

Please note: We are visiting a longtime friend here in California and will not be preparing podcasts while we are away from our home “studio”. Also since we are at a different time zone three hours earlier and working on only one computer the message delivery times may vary, as well as the depth of our messages!

This week our messages are prompted by a medley of Andraé Crouch songs we heard this last Sunday at the Shadow Mountain Community Church near San Diego. We both enjoyed his music when we were young Christians and still benefit from the thoughtful lyrics that are just as relevant today. Today we will consider a song he wrote titled, “Through It All”.

“Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith, ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said” (Acts 14:22).

I thank God for the mountains,
And I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms
He brought me through;
For if I’d never had a problem
I wouldn’t know that He could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do.

David Jeremiah In church this past Sunday morning Pastor David Jeremiah related an experience he had many years ago when his wife was stricken with a mysterious illness and how the Lord used the song, “Through It All” to bring him assurance and encouragement. He shared in his inimitable storytelling style how he played the song over and over on an 8 track tape player he had mounted under his dash. Some of us remember when having a tape payer in your car was a splurge and rather hi-tech!

I can also recall a time in my life when the song, “Through it all” meant a great deal to me. In 1977 early in our ministry together shortly after we married we hit some real obstacles and closed doors. One year into our marriage we loaded up all our earthly possessions (not much at that time) on a U-haul truck and moved to Pennsylvania to plant a church which was 1000 miles away from familiar surroundings as well as our families and friendS. Even the change of culture from southern hospitality to a far more reserved northeast was an adjustment for us. The “adventure” was quite different than the Bible College text books and chapel speakers had laid out for us over the years we attended CBC. I was 22 and Brooksyne was 21. We couldn’t find housing or a place to meet. The sparsely populated area in mountainous northern Pennsylvania was so very different than bustling Springfield Missouri where we had met in college. And the truth is the community was not at all excited about a new church plant. Although I felt led by the Lord (we both did) I wondered if I had made a huge mistake.

I was driving an old blue Datsun pickup and the memory is still so vivid I still recall precisely where it happened, at the junction of Route 255 and Kersey Road. Brooksyne was sitting in the middle and a college friend named Larry Spicher was on the passenger side. He had driven up from his home in Pittsburgh to encourage us.

Acts 14:22But I was so intensely discouraged about our situation that I, involuntarily, started to cry. I sure didn’t want either Brooksyne or my friend Larry to see me, so I angled my face toward the driver’s window looking partially out the window as I drove. We had a little battery powered portable cassette player playing music.  Just then the song, “Through it all” came on and God used it to renew my assurance that He would see us through this uncharted territory of planting a church. We actually pulled over to the side of the road and prayed for strength and a renewed vision for what God had laid upon our hearts. The Spirit of God met us during our time of critical need! That was nearly 40 years ago and we’ve been through a lot more hardships since then but through it all God has been faithful.

Today’s Scripture portion is a tiny condensation of the message that Paul and Barnabas were giving to the young believers in Asia Minor during their first missionary journey. In seeking to strengthen the disciples and encourage them to remain true to their faith their message is summed up in this twelve-word phrase, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”

God remains faithfulThat “doomsday” message sure isn’t one we want to hear, is it? I doubt if many choose this verse as their life verse or have even bothered to memorize it. But it was true then and its message still holds true for us today, going through hardships is just a part of life.

Some of you are going through a hardship as you read this today. You may be facing tremendous obstacles with tightly shut doors. You just don’t know how, when or even if it will work out. Hold on my friend, keep your faith, and stay true to the Lord. You will have a glorious testimony in God’s due time!

Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God;
Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, though we might not recognize it while facing an obstacle or enduring a trial, it is a golden opportunity to see You work in a supernatural way.  Not only will You bring about a solution in the circumstances that perplex us but You also develop godly character in us as we patiently endure the waiting period.  The Psalmist tells us to *”wait on the Lord and be of good courage and He will strengthen our hearts.”  Then He reminds us again to wait.  Bless and encourage readers today who are waiting.  For as we wait we develop patience, endurance, and faithfulness among other Christian virtues. And that is an answer to prayer that we may not have even voiced but greatly need. Amen.

*Psalm 27:14

Note: We planted a church and remained there nearly 16 years. Some of our dearest friends, including many who have relocated since then, are among the greatest treasures we cherish from that formative chapter in our lives.

Some more photos from our San Diego trip:

Sunset Cliffs cave, San Diego, CA 10/19/16
A hole with an opening to the sea.

San Diego Palm Trees 10/18/16
San Diego is a beautiful city with lots of palm trees.

Bird Of Paradise flower bloom 10/18/16
The Bird of Paradise is a flower we don’t see in Pennsylvania.

Flowers on hedge along Sunset Cliff 10/19/16
Walking along we passed this flowering shrub.

Coleus along Sunset Cliff 10/18/16
Flowers everywhere including these colorful plants!

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Through It All”  Video  Andraé Crouch (the original version as we would have heard it in 1977).

“Through It All”  Video  Andraé Crouch with Homecoming Singers when he was much older and had been through a lot more!

“He Knows What He’s Doing”  Video  Jason Crabb

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