Three in a Row


Elder Robert Willis (dec)


“Seek Out The Works of God”
“Mixtures of Joy and Sorrow”
“Cast Thy Bread”


 I. Seek Out The Works of God

The psalmist David gives wonderful admonition to God’s children in Psalm 111:2, “The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” This verse doesn’t say that just anyone will seek out the great works of the Lord. What it does say is who it is that will seek out those wondrous works. It is those who have found pleasure in them before and know the blessings found in seeking the things of God which honor and glorify Him; those things which are pleasing to Him, and those things which are according to His will.

Job, in the midst of all types of tribulation, said; “Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14). This is exactly the point which God would eventually make with Job when the Lord instructed him concerning His (God’s) creation and the wonder of it. Notice what John said in Revelation 15:3, “…Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” It is these works and these ways which we should seek daily and then relish in the “pleasure therein.” We would all do well to think about it!

II. Mixtures of Joy and Sorrow

Singing the songs and hymns and spiritual songs has always been a joy to my soul. There is something special about lifting up our voices in praise to the Almighty God. It is when my soul is at its lowest ebb that I find such comfort in singing or at least allowing the hymns to flood my soul. It is such a hymn as “Mixtures OF JOY AND SORROW” that reminds me of what families face when they lose someone they love. How often we forget of how the Lord is touched by these same events in the lives of His children. Notice closely what the psalmist David said in Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” The Lord feels our sorrows as we realize the reality of no longer being around kinsmen of this world, yet may we remember that He rejoices as His children come home to Paradise to sing praises to His name forevermore.

It has been said many times by families and pastors alike; while we know that our loved one is now rejoicing in Paradise, we are saddened by the lack of their presence. We are yet comforted with joy in knowing that we “...sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (I Thessalonians 4:13). Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 7:1, said it is better on “...the day of death than the day of one’s birth.” Why is this? Simply because there is no more pain, suffering, disappointments, or sadness; rather joy and happiness in praising our Lord.

Notice closely the words of “Mixture Of Joy And Sorrow” as recorded on page 255 of the Old School Hymnal:

“Mixtures of joy and sorrow,
I daily do pass through.
Sometime I’m in the valley,
And sinking down with woe;
Some times I am exalted,
On eagle’s wings I fly;
I rise above my troubles,
And hope to reach the sky.”

Paul expressed it well in his writings to both the church at Ephesus and Colossae. Singing with grace in our hearts while we make melody to the Lord helps us to daily deal with the mixtures of joy and sorrow we face on a regular basis. In Ephesians 5:19 he wrote, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;...” and then in Colossians 3:16 he said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” May the grace and mercy of our Lord be with you this day if you have lost someone to death, or, are just separated from their presence for awhile. The Lord can comfort in any and all situations that come our way. Praise be to His Holy Name.

III. Cast Thy Bread

Some people love to give while others only want to receive. There is no guessing required to know which one of these would be pleasing to the Lord. Giving to the church should be something we want to do, not something we feel is a burden. Notice the words of II Corinthians 9:7 where Paul said, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” Financial support of the church is a responsibility of God’s children who have been blessed with a sweet resting place while living out our lives in this temporal world. But, we also need to give freely of our time, effort, and prayers to the maintenance of the church so that it will be a healthy body of believers.

Ecclesiastes 11:1 says, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” We often sing a song with these words and it always makes me pause and ponder the truths it holds. In seeking to be disciples of Christ, casting our bread upon the waters is good admonition which points us in the right direction of keeping the commandments of God - Not in order to receive anything in return, but because of all the blessings He has already bestowed upon us. We should endeavor to use this principle both in the church and in dealing with aspects of life.

“Blessed are the saints who render,
Faithful services of love.
To the Lord’s dear little children,
As they seek those things above.”

Blessed are the who give freely,
Of their substance, and their time.
for god loves a cheerful giver,
And their joy shall be sublime.”

(The Blessed Service Of Love - R.H. Pittman - J. Harvey Daily, Old School Hymnal, p. 148)

If you are not “casting your bread upon the waters” it is a good time to start. But, we must do so willingly, not expecting anything in return. However, the promise of God is that we will be taken care of when the need arises “for he is faithful that promised” (Hebrews 10:23)