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Welcome to our Sunday morning service at WHBC, where on November 19, 2023, Pastor Gary Caudill presented the sermon "What Goes Down MUST Come Up." In this message, we explored the transformative power of God's grace as illuminated in Isaiah 61:1-6. This passage and the poignant hymn "God Leads His Dear Children Along" by George A. Young serve as reminders of how God can take the remnants of our trials — our 'ashes' — and create something beautiful.

Click the audio play button above and join us in this profound journey through Scripture. The sermon delves into how our hardest trials can be the fertile soil for spiritual growth and transformation. It's a call to trust in God's redemptive plan, where what seems lost or destroyed in our lives can be the starting point for a new, God-led chapter. As we reflect on these truths, we're reminded of the promise that in God's hands, what goes down must indeed come up, creating a legacy of faith and resilience.

What Goes Down...MUST Come Up!

by Gary Caudill
Washington Heights Baptist Church
11-19-2023, Sunday Morning Service


Isaiah 61:1-6
Isa 61:3  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. 

"God Leads His Dear Children Along" was written by George A. Young, a devout Christian and a little-known preacher and carpenter. The exact details of Young's life aren't extensively documented, but the story behind this hymn is both powerful and inspirational.

According to the most popular account, Young and his wife faced significant financial hardship throughout their lives. Despite these struggles, they remained faithful and committed to their work and calling. George A. Young was known for his deep spirituality and dedication to helping others.

The story goes that at one point, through immense sacrifice and effort, Young was able to build a small house for his family. However, tragedy struck when the house was reportedly destroyed, some say due to malicious intent by those who opposed his ministry. Despite this devastating setback, Young continued to trust in God's guidance.

It was in response to this series of hardships and his unwavering faith that Young wrote "God Leads His Dear Children Along." The hymn speaks to the idea that through all the trials and tribulations of life, whether in times of peace or struggle, God is always guiding His children. The hymn has since become a beloved reminder of God's presence and guidance in the midst of life's storms.

Disruption of Fire
Separation of Elements: In a fire, different materials react distinctly based on their composition. For instance, wood, when burned, breaks down into various gases, water vapor, and solid carbon (charcoal). This separation can be seen as a metaphor for life's trials, where different aspects of our character or beliefs are revealed and tested.
Refinement Process: Fire is used in refining metals like gold and silver. The intense heat melts the metal, allowing impurities to be separated and removed. This process is a profound metaphor for spiritual refinement, as mentioned in Malachi 3:2-3, where it speaks of a refiner's fire purifying silver and gold, symbolizing the purification of believers.

Destruction by Fire
Transformation into Ashes: The transformation of materials into ashes symbolizes the end of one form and the beginning of another. Ashes, in many traditions, represent mourning, repentance, and humility. But they also symbolize the potential for new growth, as ashes can enrich soil. This duality reflects the Christian journey of dying to oneself and rising anew in Christ (Romans 6:4). *Note(s)
Direction from Fire
Release of Energy: Fire releases energy. This aspect can be likened to the way spiritual fervor or trials can release or unveil new strength, resilience, or insight in a person’s life.
Light and Warmth: Fire provides light and warmth, illuminating and comforting. In a spiritual context, this represents the guidance and comfort provided by faith, akin to the pillar of fire that guided the Israelites in the desert (Exodus 13:21).
Renewal of Nature: In nature, some ecosystems depend on fire for renewal. Certain seeds, for example, only germinate after a fire. This process can be seen as a metaphor for spiritual rebirth and growth that often follows periods of trial or 'burning away' of the old.

Soil Amendment: Just as ashes enrich soil, God’s refining fire and ashes produced thereby enriches the soil of the soul. It nourishes and transforms lives, making them fruitful.
  • Parallel Scripture: Luke 8:15 - "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."

"God Leads His Dear Children Along" is a hymn with lyrics that have provided comfort and inspiration to many over the years. Here are the lyrics:

1. In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
   God leads His dear children along;
   Where the water's cool flow bathes the weary one's feet,
   God leads His dear children along.

   Some through the waters, some through the flood,
   Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
   Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
   In the night season and all the day long.

2. Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
   God leads His dear children along;
   Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
   God leads His dear children along.


3. Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
   God leads His dear children along;
   Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
   God leads His dear children along.


4. Away from the mire, and away from the clay,
   God leads His dear children along;
   Away up in glory, eternity's day,
   God leads His dear children along.


This hymn, with its emphasis on divine guidance through various trials and circumstances of life, has been a source of strength and encouragement for many believers.

Attention Preachers, Teachers, and all Bible Students 

I welcome you to download this sermon outline if The Holy Spirit directs you to use any of this material to help you in your personal Bible study and/or to prepare for teaching and preaching in your respective ministries.  Blessings to you all. ~ Pastor Gary Caudill

NOTE:  If you are a pastor who may be interested in your own Corner Stone Keynotes platform by which to anchor all of your teachings to the KJV Bible text with digital "footnotes", contact me for more info.  Click on Isaiah 61 below, then scroll down to verse 3 for the complete loop for illustration purposes.
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