by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year


May, 1949

Number 10

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

"It is your security", Phil. 3:1. WHAT is our security? Rejoicing in the Lord. Read the whole verse.

"Security" is a much-worked word these days. We hear it on every hand. And, as men use it, it means money or its equivalent. It DOES include this, but covers other things, also.

We may have money, but no happiness, no friends, no calmness of life, none of the things that make life worthwhile. Let us consider security in its larger aspect.

We are not to think of this text in terms of salvation. Paul wrote to saints in Christ Jesus. These HAVE salvation. They are secure in this respect.

It is well to note that Paul does not say that rejoicing in the Lord will BRING security, it IS security. In other words, the rejoicing is the security.

To rejoice in the Lord is to really have confidence in Him. It means a life in which doubt plays no part. We are confident that He is OUR Saviour, and that He is also the Saviour of ALL MANKIND. We believe that His grace touches all, and that mankind are not only living, moving and existing in Him, but also in his grace, which is to say, in His favor.

We believe that He is interested, not only in our reaching, some time, the state of final bliss and glory, but that He is also interested in our every step along the way. He provides, not merely salvation, but also food, clothing, health, friends, homes, and other things that are needed to bless us while we are in the present state of existence. To believe this, and to appreciate it, is to rejoice in the Lord.

Such belief puts us in good humor, and our life is a merry one. We find that life and service are "fun," to use a modern expression which I like very much. Fun is not necessarily frivolity. It is good humor laughing in the spirit of Christ, and going about with a cheery smile and greeting people with a hearty welcome. Frowns, woeful words, viewing with alarm, constant expectation of the worst --- these do not grow out of complete trust in God. They do not mix with rejoicing in the Lord.

Neither does chronic complaining mix with it. I remember that I once visited a lady who was a chronic complainer. The first ten minutes were spent listening to her complain that no one ever visited her. Then she launched into a complaint because a family had visited her some days before, and had not notified her that they were coming. "I got 'em told, too," she boasted. I sought to turn the conversation into a more pleasant channel. I remarked about how good the weather was. "Yes," she said, "and I've been sitting out here on the porch for an hour, and many persons have passed, and do you think they even looked my way?" I gave up and left.

It had never occurred to her that people passed her by for the same reason that they would not draw their chairs up to an iceberg on a cold day. And she had never thought that her wretched state of health was caused by her sour frame of mind. She would have said that she was in ill humor because she was sick. The opposite was true. If she ever had a hopeful thought I never knew it.

Did she have security? Not much! All that her son could earn was being spent to pay a doctor who was vainly trying to make her secure in health. Her son was working hard to make her secure in money matters. yet her life was being spent in believing that there was nothing for her except sickness and poverty. Her faith did not envision the fact that God is the Provider. She expected nothing from Him, even though He is immensely rich in glory in Christ Jesus. And she got but little. She had alienated her friends by complaining. Had she much security? Rejoicing in the Lord IS security --- health security, money security, friends security, mind security, poise security.

Poise means balance, equilibrium. It is the opposite of a frantic state of mind. It is the result of confidence. It is the opposite of panic. Of all people, a saint should have poise. He should not "go to pieces." He should have a calmness of life, thought, disposition. If he really rejoices in the Lord, and knows what the Lord is doing, he does not go about with a weighted-down appearance, neither does he become embittered toward someone who has sought to do him harm.

Perhaps no man ever exhibited more poise under distressing conditions than did Abraham Lincoln, during the War Between the States. The secret of this is not known to many, even in this day. It lies in the fact, as revealed in a book published many years ago, that Lincoln trusted God to bring, at last, all mankind into His embrace. This faith begat a feeling of certainty that He cares for us all the way. This is why the Great Emancipator's tender heart did not break under the strain. Pose he had, in great abundance.

The reason Paul could forget the things that were behind and stretch out toward the goal, was, he rejoiced in the Lord, and did not think that he had to fight his own battles. And because of that rejoicing he could write that tender letter to Philemon, showing the sweet spirit of "Paul the aged". When we disregard unpleasant deeds done by others to us, we eventually forget them. And this gives poise, calmness, lack of complaining, so that, no matter how many years we have lived, we are still young in spirit. Other things being right we have good health. We have no "chip on our shoulder." We do not "have it in" for anyone.

Such a disposition is security. I expect things from the Lord because i rejoice in Him. And I have them --- money, friends, health, calm nerves. This is security. Many ailments in my life have been cured, not because I have any ability to perform miracles, but because there is such a thing as the influence of mind over matter, and when I carry, in my subconscious, as well as my conscious mind, the certainty that i will be cured, it come to pass. This is security.

There have been times when I expected generous donations from the brethren, and trusted the Lord for it, carrying in my mind no doubt that it would be so, and it has been so. This is security.

I have expected friendship and fellowship, trusting God for it, and not doubting, and it has come to pass. This is security.

There is nothing haphazard about this. It works as surely as the law of germination works when we plant seed in the ground. God is rich. He has not told me that this life must be spent in want and suffering. he has plenty. Faith receives it, because the person of faith is able to appreciate it, and praise God for it.

Through the years we have become so accustomed to looking at the physical, that we have become unmindful that man is far more spiritual than material. It is spirit that gives life and movement to the physical. We have expected physical benefits from physical effort, and have not thought that the spirit must also be enlisted. What a glorious thing it is to reach the point that we believe God does great things for us through our spirit, in connection with the spirit of Christ and that of God --- does things for the "outer man," through the working of the "inner man".

God told us this a long time ago. But we have been so dull that we have not heard Him. He said, "As a human thinks in his heart, so is he." In view of this declaration, we have reason to think good, with the assurance that we shall HAVE good.

I once asked a preacher who was recently converted to the doctrine of the salvation of all mankind, "Why don't the people of your church shout in their meetings as they once did?" He replied, "In my case, I found that I had such a narrow view of god, that I had nothing to shout about. But I have now, since I have learned WHO and WHAT God is".

We might find much good humor in the Bible, were it not for the fact that we have been taught to read it with a long face. For instance, what is more humorous than the trick God played on the wise men of Babylon, when He caused the king to forget his dream, and the king demanded that the wise men tell him what he had dreamed?

There is much humor in the fact that God, in spite of all, is working the very things that men think are against Him, in a way that they are all FOR Him.

[Return to main indexpage]