Amazing Grace Hymns

July 28

AFTER

Words and Music by N. B. Vandall, 1896–1970

weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

How much more content we are if we know that after some trying or painful experience, there will be pleasure and a reward. Such thoughts help to spur on the athlete in competition, a mother during the birth of a child, or a weary workman on his way home to a warm fire and loved ones. It was in the midst of a tragic personal experience that the author and composer of the hymn was moved to express this consoling thought.

N. B. Vandall, a singer and a well-known gospel evangelist, was rushed to the hospital to discover that his son Paul had just been struck by a car and was critically injured. The doctor held out very little hope for recovery. Mr. Vandall recalled:

For one hour and fifteen minutes, I held on in prayer while they cleaned and sewed up the head wounds and set the broken bones. Wearily I made my way back to my humble home. I tried to comfort my wife, when, in my own heart, I had no assurance. I fell on my knees and tried to pray, saying only, “O God!”

Hardly had those words been uttered when God came. It seemed to me that Jesus knelt by my side and I could feel His arms around me as He said, “Never mind, my child. Your home will be visited with tribulation and sorrow, but in the afterwards to come, these things shall not be. Your home is in heaven, where all tears shall be wiped away!”

Brushing aside my tears, I made my way to the piano and wrote the song “After.” Paul did recover from the accident. He is still very nervous and his eyesight is impaired, but I thank God for His goodness in giving him back to us. God in His wisdom, through heartache, gave a song that has since been a comfort to a vast number of His people.
* * * *

After the toil and the heat of the day, after my troubles are past, after the sorrows are taken away, I shall see Jesus at last.

After the heartaches and sighing shall cease, after the cold winter’s blast, after the conflict comes glorious peace—I shall see Jesus at last.

After the shadows of evening shall fall, after my anchor is cast, after I list to my Savior’s last call, I shall see Jesus at last.

Refrain: He will be waiting for me—Jesus, so kind and true; on His beautiful throne, He will welcome me home—after the day is through.

For Today: John 14:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6, 8; 2 Peter 1:3, 4

Perhaps some sorrowful or stormy time has served to make God’s presence more real in your life. Thank Him for this, and for His promise of seeing Jesus “after the day is through.” Carry this promise with you as you go—

Osbeck, K. W. 

EZC

  • In my Father’s house are many dwelling places: if it were not so, I would have told you: I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there may ye be alsoJohn 14:2-3
  • But as it is written, The things which eye hath not seen, neither ear hath heard, neither came into man’s heart, are which God hath prepared for them that love him1 Corinthians 2:9
  • For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle be destroyed, we have a building given of God, that is, an house not made with hands, but eternal in the heavens2 Corinthians 5:1
  • Therefore we are always bold, though we know that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:6
  • Nevertheless, we are bold, and love rather to remove out of the body, and to dwell with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8
  • According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the acknowledging of him that hath called us unto glory and virtue. Whereby most great and precious promises are given unto us, that by them ye should be partakers of the divine nature, in that ye fless the corruption, which is in the world through lust2 Peter 1:3-4

 

Connect The Testaments

July 28: I Will Laud Your Deeds

2 Samuel 19:1–43; 2 Peter 3:1–13; Psalm 145:1–21

I grew up in a family of stoics. Through example, my siblings and I were taught to keep our emotions to ourselves. Displays of excessive affection or sorrow were regarded with some suspicion, and this played out in our expressions of faith.

Psalm 145 directly challenges such a mindset. The psalmist expresses why confessing God’s faithfulness is so important, especially to those we influence: “One generation will laud your works to another, and will declare your mighty deeds” (Psa 145:4). God’s mighty deeds were His redemptive acts—especially the exodus from Egypt. His greatness (Psa 145:6), His righteousness (Psa 145:7), His glory, and His power (Psa 145:11, 12) were expressed.

Our praise should be centered on God’s ultimate restorative work through His Son—an act that has brought us back into intimate communion with Him. We can bring our sorrows and failures to Him: “Yahweh upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down” (Psa 145:14). He hears our desires and our cries when we call upon Him in truth (Psa 145:18–19). Calling on God in truth requires that we honestly examine our own emotions (Psa 145:18). When we bring our emotions to God, we should do so in either confession or praise.

James emphasizes that free expression isn’t always a value. Since we stumble in many ways, loose talk can be dangerous and destructive in communities (Jas 3:2–6). Both speaking and silence require wisdom. When we are quick to talk about God’s work of redemption and His work in us, our words bring Him honor. What better reason to be mindful of how our expressions affect those around us—especially those who look up to us.

How are you using expressions to honor God and uplift others?

REBECCA VAN NOORD

EZC

  • And it was told Joab, Behold, the King weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. Therefore the victory of that day was turned into mourning to all the people: for the people heard say that day, The King sorroweth for his son. And the people went that day into the city secretly, as people confounded hide themselves when they flee in battle. So the King hid his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, My son Absalom, Absalom my son, my son. Then Joab came into the house to the King, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons, and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines, In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends: for thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither thy princes, nor servants: therefore this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and we all had died this day, that then it would have pleased thee well. Now therefore up, come out, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the Lord, except thou come out, there will not tarry one man with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee, than all the evil that fell on thee from thy youth hitherto. Then the king arose, and sat in the gate: and they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate: and all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent. Then the king arose, and sat in the gate: and they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate: and all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent. Then all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The King saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines, and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom. And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle: therefore why are ye so slow to bring the king again? But King David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the Priests, saying, Speak unto the Elders of Judah, and say, Why are ye behind to bring the King again to his house (for the saying of all Israel is come out unto the King, even to his house.) Ye are my brethren: my bones and my flesh are ye: Wherefore then are ye the last that bring the King again? Also say ye to Amasa, Art thou not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the houst to me forever in the room of Joab. So he bowed the hearts of all the men of Judah, as of one man: therefore they sent to the King, saying, Return thou with all thy servants. So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, for to Shimei the son of Gera, the son of Benjamin, which was of Bahurim, hasted and came down wih the men of Judah to meet king David, And a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and twenty servants with him: and they went over Jordan before the king. And there went over a boat to carry over the king’s household, and to do him pleasure. Then Shimei the son of Gera fell before the king, when he was come over Jordan. Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old, and he had provided the king of sustenance, while he lay at Mahanaim: for he was a man of very great substance. And the king said unto Barzillai, Come over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem. And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern betwen good or evil? Hath thy servant any taste in that I eat, or in that I drink? Can I hear anymore the voice of singing men and women? wherefore then should thy servant be anymore a burthen unto my lord the king? Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king, and why will the king recompense it me with such a reward? I pray thee, let thy servant turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried in the grave of my father and of my mother: but behold thy servant Chimham, let him go with my lord the King, and do to him what shall praise thee. And the king answered, Chimham shall go with me, and I will do to him that thou shalt be content with: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee. So all the people went over Jordan: and the king passed over: and the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him, and he returned unto his own place. Then the King went to Gilgal, and Chimham went with him, and all the people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel. And behold, all the men of israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king and his household, and all David’s men with him over Jordan? And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us: and wherefore now be ye angry for this matter? have we eaten of the king’s cost, or have we taken any bribes? And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and have also more right to David than ye: Why then did ye despise us that our advise should not be first had in restoring our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel2 Samuel 19:1-43
  • This second Epistle I now write unto you, beloved, wherewith I stir up, and warm your pure minds, To call to remembrance the words, which were told before of the holy Prophets, and also the commandment of us the Apostles of the Lord and Savior. This first understand, that there shall come in the last days, mockers, which will walk after their lusts, And say, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the Fathers died, all things continue alike from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly know not, that the heavens were of old, and the earth that was of the water, and by the water, by the word of God. Wherefore the world that then was, perished, overflowed with the water. But the heavens and earth, which are now, are kept by the same word in store, and reserved unto fire against the day of condemnation, and of the destruction of ungodly men. Dearly beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord, as a thousand years, a thousand years as one day. The Lord of that promise is not slack (as some men coiunt slackness) but is patient toward us, and would have no man to perish, but would all men to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a noise, and the elements shall melt with heat, and the earth with the works that are therein shall be burnt up. Seeing therefore that all these things might be disobeyed, what manner persons ought ye to be in holy conversation and godliness, Looking for, and hasting unto the coming of that day of God, by the which the heavens being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with heat? But we look for new heavens, and a new earth, according to his promise, wherein dwelleth righteousness2 Peter 3:1–13
  • O my God and King, I will extol thee, and will bless thy Name forever and ever. I will bless thee daily, and praise thy Name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and most worthy to be praised, and his greatness is incomprehensible. Generation shall praise thy works unto generation, and declare thy power. I will meditate of the beauty of thy glorious majesty, and thy wonderful works. And they shall speak of the power of thy dreadful acts, and I will declare thy greatness. They shall break out into the mention of thy great goodness, and shall sing aloud of my righteousness. The Lord is gracious, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all, and his mercies are over all his works. All thy works praise thee, O Lord, and thy Saints bless thee. They show the glory of thy kingdom, and speak of thy power, To cause his power to be known to the sons of men, and the glorious renown of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all ages. The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and lifteth up all that are ready to fall. The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and fillest all things living of thy good pleasure. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord is near unto all that call upon him, yea, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him, he will also hear thier cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love him; but he will destroy the wicked. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh shall bless his holy Name forever and ever. Psalm 145:1–21

My Utmost For His Highest

July 28th

After obedience—what?

And straightway He constrained His disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side.… Mark 6:45–52

We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.

What is my dream of God’s purpose? His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process—that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.

God’s training is for now, not presently. His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience; we get wrong when we think of the afterwards. What men call training and preparation, God calls the end.

God’s end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now. If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present; but if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.

Chambers, O.