By Gerald R. Nash
Disappointments, sadness, pain, and loneliness come to all of us. “Why must this terrible experience happen to me?” many ask. “How can a loving God permit this tragedy?” “Is He dead?” “Why is He called good, merciful, and long-suffering while every day men and women are crushed by agonies almost beyond endurance?”
Everyone asks these questions�those who hate God, as well as Christians who are bewildered and confused by disappointments. When sorrow comes it is natural for human beings to question, doubt, and blame.
Yet God never promised us a trouble-free existence. He knows that temporary suffering in this life is necessary to prepare us for the life to come. The Scripture plainly states that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”; that “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.” 2 Timothy 3:12; Hebrews 12:6.
We don’t need to look far to see that non-Christians meet reverses and anguish. Much of this sorrow is the result of their own sins. We cannot escape the law of cause and effect. Some disasters result from ignorance and human error. Devastating fires and explosions have destroyed life and property because some-one dropped a burning cigarette in the wrong place. When catastrophes like these happen, many think that it is God’s will. Some even believe disasters are punishments from God.
But Jesus refuted the “punishment from God” theory one day when He and His disciples met a man blind from birth. The disciples asked Jesus, �`Whose sin was it that caused him to be born blind? His own or his parents’ sin?’ Jesus answered: `His blindness has nothing to do with his sins or his parents’ sins.” John 9:2, 3, TEV.
Another time, after Pilate killed a group of Galileans while they worshiped God, Christ asked, ” `Do you think it proves that they were worse sinners than all the other Galileans? No! I tell you that if you do not change your ways, you will all die as they did. What about those eighteen in Siloam who were killed when the tower fell on them? Do you suppose this proves that they were worse than all the other people living in Jerusalem? No! I tell you that if you do not change your ways, you will all die as they did.� Luke 13:2-5, TEV.
Besides disasters from human mistakes, natural disasters also cause misery and death. “Even now he [Satan] is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence.”
All Will be Made Plain
Although we cannot understand the reasons for every tragedy or disappointment, the promise is, “All that has perplexed us in the providences of God will in the world to come be made plain.”2
For years I have carried in my Bible this quotation: “He never leads them otherwise than they would choose to be led if they could see the end froth the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose that they are fulfilling.”3
When sorrow, pain, problems, criticisms, disappointments, and other difficulties come, we want to cry out, “Surely, Father, these bad things can’t be good for me.” And back comes the answer, “Yes, My child, all these things are working together for your benefit. Believe Me, I am permitting only that which will enrich your life or make you a blessing to others. I love you more than you can understand. All that concerns you concerns Me too. But I am preparing you to dwell with Me forever. Don’t doubt or question My purpose. Trust Me implicitly, and everything will work together for your good.”
An infidel doctor took his horse to a blacksmith to be shod. The blacksmith, who had just become a Christian, was experiencing one problem after another in his personal life.
“It seems strange to me,” the doctor said before leaving, “that so much affliction should pass your way just at the time you joined the church and became a Christian. Of course I don’t want to weaken your new-found faith or anything,” he continued. “But here you are, trying to do your best, praying for God’s help and guidance, and yet things seem to be getting steadily worse. I can’t help wondering why it is I never seem to have any troubles, and I make no profession at all.”
The Christian blacksmith thought a moment before he answered.
“See this piece of iron?” he asked, holding up some red-hot metal. “This will become carriage springs, springs which must carry a heavy load. I’ve worked on it for some time. I heat it hot, then plunge it quickly into a tub of water. I do this again and again. If I find it takes tempering, I pound it and pound it unmercifully. If after a test or two of this kind I find it won’t take tempering, I throw it into that scrap heap over there.”
“Behold,” God says, “I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10.
“The brightest crowns that are worn in heaven have been tried, and smelted, and polished, and glorified through the furnaces of tribulation,” wrote Edwin Hubbell Chapin.
God does the tempering in our lives. Should our prayer not be, “Test me, prove me, Lord; but don’t cast me onto the scrap heap”?
All Things Work Together for Good
Romans 8:28 promises that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” Yet this is hard to believe.
The individual whose faith encompasses this text walks in fellowship with God. While “all things work together for good to them that love God,” all things are not necessarily good in themselves. The good and the evil work together for the benefit of those who love God.
If Romans 8:28 read, “Some things work together for good,” or “Most things work together for good,” then it would not be difficult to believe. It is that little word “all” that causes the problem. Because we are so prone to doubt, it is hard for us to take God at His word. Nevertheless the fact remains, God promises that good things, bad things, all things, will be used as stepping-stones in our Christian experience if we love the Lord and allow Him to lead us. “All our sufferings and sorrows, all our temptations and trials, all our sadness and griefs, all our persecutions and privations, in short, all things work together for our good.”4
The promise is that if God is controlling our lives, the final result of everything will be for good. “My hand is upon the wheel, and I will not allow men to control. . . . My hand is turning the wheel, and My providence will continue to work out the divine plans, irrespective of human inventions.”5
The mysteries of grace will unfold before us. Where we saw only confusion before, we shall discover perfect harmony. And we shall be happy knowing that infinite love ordered the difficult experiences.
“He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. The blow that is aimed at him falls upon the Savior, who surrounds him with His presence. Whatever comes to him comes from Christ. He has no need to resist evil, for Christ is his defense. Nothing can touch him except by our Lord’s permission, and `all things’ that are permitted `work together for good to them that love God.’
“Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme, will find perplexities vanish and a plain path before their feet.
“As a little child, trust to the guidance of Him who will `keep the feet of His saints.’ 1 Samuel 2:9.
“As we commit our ways to Him, He will direct our steps.”6
“The fact that we are called upon to endure trial shows that the Lord Jesus sees in us something precious which He desires to develop. If He saw in us nothing whereby He might glorify His name, He would not spend time in refining us. He does not cast worthless stones into His furnace. It is valuable ore that He refines. The blacksmith puts the iron and steel into the fire that he may know what manner of metal they are. The Lord allows His chosen ones to be placed in the furnace of affliction to prove what temper they are of and whether they can be fashioned for His work.”‘
Temptation and trial are everyday parts of life. Satan continually induces us to stop loving and trusting God. While Satan tempts everyone, he especially attacks those determined to be like Christ.
The apostle Peter admonishes all Christians, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.
The lion is a good example of how the devil works. He approaches stealthily, and unless we are on guard we will be unable to resist his attack.
Temptation should drive us to the Lord in prayer. Every time we yield, we grow weaker in that point. But each temptation resisted strengthens character.
When the temptation seems more than we can endure, remember the promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
God’s personal message is, I won’t let you be tempted beyond your ability to resist. Our Creator knows how much temptation we can stand. Bridges usually have signs reading, “Load limit, 5 tons,” or “Load limit, 10 tons.” Crossing with a heavier load invites disaster.
A severe test may be a sign of God’s confidence. Before Satan stripped Job of property, children, and wealth, God knew his “load limit.” He knew that Job would remain faithful. In the same way God keeps our “load limit” in mind, and He won’t allow Satan to tempt us beyond that limit.
God apportions to each what he can bear and no more. Our Savior assures us that with every temptation He will make a way of escape. He doesn’t do this by removing the temptation, but by giving us strength to overcome. Wherever we are and however strong the temptation, Jesus is by our side, saying, “I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:10.
“If we venture on Satan’s ground we have no assurance of protection from his power. So far as in us lies, we should close every avenue by which the tempter may find access to us.”8 Don’t walk into temptation. Don’t despair when temptation comes, but be confident that through God’s grace you will triumph. God prepares an escape route for every temptation.
God never tempts us to sin. “God cannot be tempted with evil and He Himself tempts no one.” James 1:13, RSV. The only guarantee against yielding to temptation is Christ in the heart. He will never abandon the person for whom He died. “Live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold you firmly by a hand that will never let go.”9 And remember, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10.
God brings good out of evil and uses temptations to bring us back to Him. These experiences purify and discipline. They cause us to abhor evil and to desire only the good. Because He loves us He permits temptations to come to us.
God’s Wise Overall Plan
God would like to make us rich, famous, successful, to give us every desire of our hearts; but He dare not do it. Our nature is too weak to bear much prosperity. We grow proud and independent and feel no need of Him when things are going smoothly.
So He removes one by one the things that separate us from Him. Sometimes it is health, strength, wealth, fame, or the one whom we love and on whom we lean most. It is hard to be crushed and broken, but He permits it because He loves us and wants to save us. “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” Hebrews 12:6, 7.
No one welcomes hardship. We don’t schedule or plan for trouble. When it comes, it is an unhappy surprise. We react in a variety of ways�self-pity, depression, bitterness. Yet none of these is the reaction God wants.
“Yet, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou art our Potter; we are all the work of Thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8, RSV. The Lord is our Potter; we are the clay; the potter’s wheel represents heaven’s grace and life’s varying experiences.
The Divine Potter
In the divine Potter’s plan, forces and influences from above and below work together to mold our characters. Frequent marring of the clay vessel is necessary to remove flaws resulting from nonpliability.
So the great Potter of our lives often mars or crushes us. We force Him to, by our stubborn resistance to His grace and our rebellion against the problems of life.
The Lord doesn’t mar and crush in order to reject us ultimately. But if after renewed operation the once-resistant soul yields to Him, He will mold it into a vessel of usefulness. No life is beyond His transforming touch. “The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” Jeremiah 18:4. Luther’s translation says: “So he made another vessel out of it, as pleased him.”
No, our heavenly Potter does not mar to discard, but as with clay, He repeatedly “molds it,” “kneads it and works it. He tears it apart and presses it together. . . . He lets it lie. . . . He forms it into shape and on the wheel trims and polishes it. He dries it in the sun and bakes it in the oven. Thus it becomes a vessel fit for use.” 10
He mars our wayward and unpliable lives, only to make them more noble. He tears them down, only to build them up more beautifully. He crushes them, only to make them more whole. He wounds them, only to give them permanent healing.
The potter, after molding the vessel into the desired shape, bakes it in the oven. The furnace heat transforms the clay into a strong and beautiful vessel.
He makes sure that no two vessels touch while baking, because they must bake separately or else when they are broken apart for use, both will be flawed. In God�s great plan for our lives we must stand alone in the furnace of affliction. And yet we are not alone. Christ is with us. God permits us to be marred and refined that we may develop individual characters. He wants us to triumph as individuals, to be among those who have come �out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.� Revelation 7:14.
The Molding Not Enjoyed, But Endured
The Lord does not expect us to enjoy the molding process, but He wants us to endure it patiently. When the apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 7:4, �I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation,� he did not mean that he enjoyed being stoned or having those he loved turn against him. But he rejoiced because those experiences brought him closer to God. Chastening would do for his character that which nothing else could do. The Psalmist said, �It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes.� Psalm 119:71.
�We are heaven-bound, and we should show the attractive part of our faith. We should not go as a crippled band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the journey to our Father�s house.
�Those professed Christians who are constantly complaining, who seem to think happiness and a cheerful countenance a sin, have not the genuine attributes of religion. Those who look upon nature�s beautiful scenery as they would upon a dead picture; who choose to look upon dead leaves rather than to gather the beautiful flowers; who take a mournful pleasure in all that is melancholy in the language spoken to them by the natural world; who see no beauty in valleys clothed in living green, and grand mountain heights clothed with verdure; who close their senses to the joyful voice that speaks to them in nature�-these are not in Christ.
�Suppose we change this order of things�.. Suppose you try to count all your blessings. You have thought so little upon them, and they have been so continual, that when reverses or afflictions come, you are grieved and think God is unjust. You do not call to mind how little gratitude you have manifested for all the blessings of God. You have not deserved them; but because they have flowed in upon you day by day, year by year, you have looked upon them as a matter of course, thinking it was your right to receive every advantage, and give nothing in return. . . . The blessings of God are more than the hairs of our head, more than the sands of the seashore. Meditate upon His love and care for us, and may it inspire you with love that trials cannot interrupt nor afflictions quench.
“If we could only see the many dangers from which we are daily preserved by the holy angels, instead of complaining of our trials and misfortunes, we would talk continually of the mercies of God.” 11
It is natural to be grateful for God’s many blessings�such as health, home, and prosperity. But do we also thank Him for tribulation? Are we grateful for the problems which contribute depth and solidity to our characters? Specifically, how do we feel about:
a. The sorrow that makes us sympathetic?
b. The pain that leaves its deposit of patience in our lives?
c. The problem that drives us to think?
d. The criticism that compels us to check up on ourselves?
e. The disappointments that keep us humble?
f. The difficulties that keep us dependent upon God?
All these and a thousand other things are worth more to us than the many easy victories which produce no growth.
God’s Chosen Agency
Today let us thank God for the troubles which help us grow more like Him. “The trials of life are God’s workmen, to remove the impurities and roughness from our character. Their hewing, squaring, and chiseling, their burnishing and polishing, is a painful process. . . . But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple.” 12
“One evening a gentleman who was much depressed because of deep affliction was walking in a garden, where he observed a pomegranate tree nearly cut through the stem. Greatly wondering, he asked the gardener why the tree was in this condition, and he received an answer that explained to his satisfaction the wounds of his own bleeding heart. `Sir,’ said the gardener, `this tree used to shoot out so strong that it bore nothing but leaves. I was obliged to cut it in this manner; and when it was almost cut through, it began to bear fruit.’
“Our sorrows do not spring out of the ground. In every affliction God has a purpose to work out for our good. Every blow that destroys an idol, every providence that weakens our hold upon earth and fastens our affections more firmly upon God, is a blessing. The pruning may be painful for a time, but afterward it `yieldeth that peaceable fruit of righteousness.’ We should receive with gratitude whatever will quicken the conscience, elevate the thoughts, and ennoble the life. The fruitless branches are cut off and cast into the fire. Let us be thankful that through painful pruning we may retain a connection with the living Vine; for if we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with Him. The very trial that taxes our faith the most severely and makes it seem as though God had forsaken us is to lead us more closely to Him, that we may lay all our burdens at the feet of Christ and experience the peace which He will give us in exchange. . . . God loves and cares for the feeblest of His creatures, and we cannot dishonor Him more than by doubting His love to us. 0 let us cultivate that living faith that will trust Him in the hour of darkness and trial!”13
“Christ will never abandon the soul for whom He has died. The soul may leave Him, and be overwhelmed with temptation; but Christ can never turn from one for whom He has paid the ransom of His own life. Could our spiritual vision be quickened, we should see souls bowed under oppression and burdened with grief, pressed as a cart beneath sheaves, and ready to die in discouragement. We should see angels flying swiftly to aid these tempted ones, who are standing as on the brink of a precipice. The angels from heaven force back the hosts of evil that encompass these souls, and guide them to plant their feet on the sure foundation. The battles waging between the two armies are as real as those fought by the armies of this world, and on the issue of the spiritual conflict eternal destinies depend.
“To us, as to Peter, the word is spoken, `Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.’ Thank God, we are not left alone.” 14
“To all who are reaching out to feel the guiding hand of God, the moment of greatest discouragement is the time when divine help is nearest. They will look back with thankfulness upon the darkest part of their way. `The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly.’ 2 Peter 2:9. From every . . . trial He will bring them forth with firmer faith and a richer experience.” 15
The promise is, “when thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.” Isaiah 43:2.
Jesus assures us, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. What more can we ask?
“Through all our trials we have a never-failing Helper. He does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation, to battle with evil, and be finally crushed with burdens and sorrow. Though now He is hidden from mortal sight, the ear of faith can hear His voice saying, Fear not; I am with you. `I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forever-more.’ Revelation 1:18. I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. `The mountains shall depart, and the hills be re-moved; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.’ Isaiah 54:10.” 16
The Fruitage of f the Plan
Disappointments and difficulties develop patience in us. And patience is the first-mentioned grace of redemption. “Here is the patience of the saints,” declared John the revelator. Only those who “let patience have her perfect work” in their lives will become “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” They are the ones who will live forever where nothing will annoy or harass.
When little trials of life make us irritable, we should ask God for patience.
Because we fail to see our problems as God sees them, and can’t understand them as He can, we misinterpret His dealings with us. Since our concept of the Lord is limited, we often doubt His love.
“The ways of the Lord are obscure to him who desires to see things in a light pleasing to himself. They appear dark and joyless to our human nature. But God’s ways are ways of mercy and the end is salvation.”‘ 7
How encouraging it would be if we could remember that every dark storm has a heavenly side, ablaze with God’s light and glory. Our view of human suffering is so limited. We interpret problems and disappointments negatively, always afraid they will ruin us. We forget that the Lord permits them for our growth. We must receive heavenly eyesalve to help us see clearly from God’s point of view. Only then shall we recognize love in all life’s experiences. When we see our trials from God’s viewpoint, we will recognize them as His agents, helping prepare us for a place in heaven.
Trials A Part of Education
“Trial is part of the education given in the school of Christ, to purify God’s children from the dross of earthliness.”‘ 8
Christ Himself entered this school of affliction in order to understand by experience man’s side of the question. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” Hebrews 5:8. How much more do we, mere human beings, need to learn the lessons our heavenly Father has for us.
Even though we don’t understand all the reasons, we know that God wants to turn our every experience toward developing a Christ like character.
How are we to relate to difficulties and disappointments? Certainly not by hard, disgruntled feelings. Not with discouragement. “The more you dwell upon discouragement, talking to others about your trials and enlarging upon them, to enlist the sympathy which you crave, the more discouragements and trials you will have.”‘ 9 There is a wise and loving purpose in every experience that God permits to come to us.
“And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:3. A woman, anxious to understand the true import of this statement, called on a silversmith. “Please tell me the refining process for silver,” she asked. He described it to her. “But,” she said, “do you sit while the work of refining is going on?”
“Oh, yes,” the silversmith replied, “I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver is sure to be injured. When I see my own image reflected in the silver, I know that the refining is completed.”
Not for one moment longer than is necessary does Christ subject us to the refining process. He permits the fire, not to destroy us, but to purify, ennoble, and sanctify us. He yearns to see His image reflected in us.
“God in His great love is seeking to develop in us the precious graces of His Spirit. He permits us to encounter obstacles, persecution, and hardships, not as a curse, but as the greatest blessing of our lives.”2 �
Nothing “Just Happens”
If we are Christians, nothing “just happens” to us. Disappointments, broken hopes, wrecked plans�everything that touches our lives is pre-paring us for a place in His kingdom. God permits each experience, trying to bring us closer to Himself. His ways are mysterious, but He never makes mistakes. He is wise and loving. Let us submit to His better judgment. There are some things we cannot know until we go beyond them and look back.
God may touch our dearest interests in order to draw us away from danger. Sometimes He takes away our greatest treasure. Illness may fall upon a loved one; death may carry off the pride of our heart. But, having gazed into death, we can value the realities of life more deeply.
He doesn’t enjoy our grief, but suffering is necessary to teach us obedience. One writer said, “God sometimes washes the eyes of His children with tears, that they may read aright His commandments.” However severe our trials, Christ is never unkind or unloving. “I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” He says, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil.” Jeremiah 29:11. Whatever trials He allows are for our good. “If received in faith, the trial that seems so bitter and hard to bear will prove a blessing. The cruel blow that blights the joys of earth will be the means of turning our eyes to heaven.”2
When calamity strikes, there is no relief in asking, Why? Questioning and doubt only aggravate the problem. It is better to accept the fact and then gather all our resources to deal with it. Though you do not always see the outcome of affairs, you are not to throw away your confidence in God.
One of the most costly diamonds in the world was taken from the Kimberly diamond mines of Africa and presented to the king of England. He sent it to an expert diamond cutter. For days and weeks the diamond cutter studied that stone and, with greatest care, planned how he would cut it. Then he took the priceless gem, made a notch in it, struck it a hard blow with an instrument, and the jewel lay in his hand in two perfect pieces. Was the blow a mistake? Far from it. It produced two magnificent diamonds for the royal crown.
Sometimes God allows a stinging blow to fall upon us. It may be the failure of some cherished plan or idea. Whatever the disappointment, God holds our lives in His hands. He has a purpose for us and for each blow that He permits to fall.
God “doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” Lamentations 3:33.
He permits trials to come to His children because He loves them.
No Place for Despondency
This leaves no place for discouragement. All should live, confident that God is planning for them and that whatever happens is for a specific purpose. That kind of confidence makes life happy! “They will look back with thankfulness upon the darkest part of their way”�what a promise!
Satan designs temptations to hurt us, but God turns them to good and uses them for His glory. Every experience, happy or sorrowful, has its mission from the Father.
“Whatever your anxieties and trials, spread out your case before the Lord. Your spirit will be braced for endurance. The way will be open for you to disentangle yourself from embarrassment and difficulty. The weaker and more helpless you know yourself to be, the stronger will you become in His strength. The heavier your burdens, the more blessed the rest in casting them upon your Burden Bearer.
“Circumstances may separate friends; the restless waters of the wide sea may roll between us and them. But no circumstances, no distance, can separate us from the Savior. Wherever we may be, He is at our right hand, to support, maintain, uphold, and cheer. Greater than the love of a mother for her child is Christ’s love for His redeemed. It is our privilege to rest in His love; to say, `I will trust Him; for He gave His life for me.’
“Human love may change, but Christ’s love
knows no change. When we cry to Him for
help, His hand is stretched out to save.”2 2
THOUGHTS FOR THOSE HAVING TRIALS AND DISAPPOINTMENTS
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey. .
I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I
had hoped for
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers
I am, among all men, most richly blessed!
This booklet “Why God Allows Trials and Disappointments” written by Gerald R. Nash is published by Pacific Press Publishing Association.