“When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:”–Proverbs 8:29
John Newton was a wicked and immoral man before his conversion. Active in the slave trade he would later work so hard to outlaw, Newton was on his way home to England from Africa when a storm nearly sank his ship and he cried out to God for mercy. Newton eventually became a faithful pastor in Olney, England, where he wrote the poem we know as the wonderful hymn “Amazing Grace.” Late in his life Newton was almost completely blind and deaf, but he insisted on continuing to do what he could for the Lord.
In his diary Newton wrote: “Oh, for grace to meet the approach of death with a humble, thankful, resigned spirit becoming my profession. That I may not stain my character by impatience, jealousy or any hateful temper but may be prepared and permitted to depart in peace and hope and be enabled, if I can speak, to bear my testimony to thy faithfulness and goodness with my last breath. Amen.” A friend who visited Newton just before his death recorded some of his final words. Newton told his friend, “My memory is nearly gone but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Saviour.”
No matter what else happens in our lives, we can always rely on the faithfulness of God. From the very creation of the world all of His decrees and promises have been kept. His Word never fails, and we can fully rely on Him to do everything that He has said. Trials and difficulties do not shake our faith when we focus on the God who never changes. The author of Hebrews wrote, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).–(Daily in the Word)