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Page 219

True saving faith plays a crucial role in a person's conversion to God. The experience of misery (repentance) is followed by deliverance (true saving faith), and thankfulness (loving obedience).

    One day a young man fell from a pier into deep water. He kicked, thrashed, and struggled, but was unable to reach the pier or safe ground. Walking on the pier was a strong man, but he made no efforts to save the drowning person.

    Soon the desperate struggles of the young man began to lessen; he was losing strength. Finally, he rose to the surface, weak and helpless. At that moment the man leaped into the water and safely brought the nearly-drowned person to the pier.

    "Why didn't you save him sooner?" several people asked.

    "I could not save him as long as he struggled," the man answered. "He would have dragged both of us under. But when he was weak and powerless, then I could easily save him."

    How does this story illustrate the spiritual lesson of being saved through the experience of misery, deliverance, and thankfulness? How does a person spiritually "struggle to death"? Why does God choose to save His "drowning" children when they cannot save themselves anymore? How does this produce a deep thankfulness to God in the hearts of all whom He has saved?

    In this example, the rescuer could not save the drowning victim until he lost his struggling strength; when rescuing sinners, God chooses to wait until the sinner can no longer save himself. What significant difference does this involve?


And call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.

- Psalm 50:15

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

- Psalm 40:2-3

Thy vows are upon me, 0 God: I will render praises unto Thee.

For Thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not Thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

- Psalm 56:12-13

0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

- Romans 7:24-25a


Many times God waits to perform His gracious saving work. Why?

Why is the "drowning of self," the being "cut off from hope in self," a painful but necessary spiritual experience?

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