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[Nico Bosman, father of Matthew, shared the following verses: "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24). "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." (Psalm 139:16).] Sermon by Rev Erlo Stegen: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. " (Luke 21:28). A certain captain sent a young sailor to climb the mast during a violent storm to loosen certain ropes. As the young man climbed and worked on the mast the storm raged and the mast swayed violently from side to side. The captain saw the young man getting dizzy. He knew that if he should fall he would be dead. So the captain shouted to him at the top of his voice, "young man, look up". As he looked up, his dizziness went away and he could continue with his work and finish it. When the storms rage around us we too must "look up", and we'll get new direction and purpose. We read in Amos 3:6, "If there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD have done it?" Whatever happens God has ordained it. "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD." (Proverbs 16:33). When you look up it will be the end of your tears. Even the events that seem accidental are ordered by Him. God uses men for His purposes. Look at the universe, which is greater than we can fathom. Those without insight expect God to be created like we. A certain theologian struggled with the idea of the Trinity and walked up and down the beach thinking about it. He saw a little child continually fetching sea water and pouring it into a hole. Eventually he asked the boy what he was doing. The boy replied, "I want to pour the entire ocean down this hole." The next moment the boy was gone. God had sent an angel to show this man that he was trying to fathom the greatness of God with his little mind. If you can understand God fully with your little mind then He won't be God but only the science and reasonings of your mind. "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6). There's no bitterness and unforgiveness in a heart that acknowledges God with all the heart. As we look up we also hear the words, "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." (Psalm 116:15). Death is gain to a Christian, for then we are with our Lord. "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31). When you wait upon the Lord you don't have time for anything else. When you hunt and aim to hit the mark, you concentrate so as not to miss. So too when you wait and live for God. You cannot afford to miss the mark. This is not the end. We don't know the future. Difficult times are the best times in one's life for it draws one closer to God. When king David's child was sick, he mourned and fasted, but when he died, he washed and dressed himself, and asked for food and ate and drank. He said, "the child will not come back to me but I will go to him". However, king David also had another son, Absolom. He was a terrible rebellious child. He talked evil about his father behind his back and conspired against him. Eventually he went into open battle against his father so that his father had to flee. Absolom was very proud of his handsome build and beautiful hair, which he wore long. In the battle he rode on a mule underneath some trees and his hair got caught in the branches of the trees. Some of David's men came upon him hanging between heaven and earth and they killed him. When David got the news, he cried with a bitter cry, "O Absolom, my son, my son. If only I had died in your place". David knew that Absolom went straight to hell with his rebellion and pride. Today we don't have to cry bitterly because we also know that this child won't come back to us but we will go to him in heaven. He is with his heavenly Father, who is immeasurably more kind and loving and gracious than any earthly father can be.

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