Charlotte was from a devout family who taught her faith, piety and commitment to Christ. In her early years she became famous as a humorous poet. However, at age 32 her life changed drastically.
Charlotte suffered a serious illness that left her disabled for the rest of her life. For many years following she suffered feelings of uselessness, loneliness and frustration. During one of the darkness times of her life a minister came to visit. In her depression Charlotte began to vent her feelings of bitterness, anger and resentment.
However, instead of providing Charlotte comfort, the minister challenged her to replace her rage with peace. Her conflict with contentment in Christ and her doubts with faith. That day began a new career for Charlotte as a writer of hymns.
Although Charlotte continued to struggle with feelings of inadequacy about her inability to serve the Lord, she continued to write. At age 55 she decided to write a song about her faith in God. One of the stanzas goes this way”
“Just as I am, tho’ tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!”
“Just As I Am” has become one of the greatest and most powerful invitation songs of all time, written by Charlotte Elliott in 1834. The song is a living testimony to her perseverance through struggle, conflict, and doubt.
Our word of the week is “endure.”
The ability to endure is an essential ingredient to success In an any endeavor. Business. Sports. Education. And most importantly living the Christian life.
The command to endure is a constant challenge throughout the teaching of the Bible.
Jesus said, “The one who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13).
When we deal with temptation James encouraged, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (Jas 1:12)
In the face of mistreatment, Peter penned, “But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ” (1Pet 2: 20)
In order to accomplish his ministry, Paul declared, “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Tim. 2:10).
In the great love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible says that “(love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
The Christian walk calls for endurance. It requires a life time of dedication. Devotion. And doggedness. It’s not always easy. Convenient. Or popular. But the true disciple of Jesus is not deterred. Dismayed. Or distracted. He keeps on keeping on!
The Greek word translated “endure” is hupomenoo. Dr. Thayer says it means “to remain” or “abide.” “To persevere: absolutely and emphatically, under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ.”
The Bible in various places calls for Christians to persevere in prayer. In brotherly love. In faith. In fellowship. In God’s grace.
When you feel sorry for yourself, doubt your value to the Kingdom, or are ready to quit, remember Charlotte Elliott. And that you too can endure. With God’s help.
Just as I am, and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot,
to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman