GOD’S PERPETUAL CARE FOR HIS OWN

GOD’S PERPETUAL CARE FOR HIS OWN

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken – Psalm 37:25

Here is David’s testimony: although I have seen many adventures as a youth, and faced many struggles throughout my life, I have never yet seen God neglect one of his children or forsake the godly when they are in need.

David was a man of action, a prominent ruler, and a longtime servant of God. This was not a man who lacked experience, or had hid in a corner, or had recently joined the ranks of godly men. And his declaration is that—in all his years of service, in the great variety of his circumstances—he has never, even once, seen the godly forsaken or left uncared for!

But there seems to be even more behind David’s statement than mere observation. He admits that he is now old. He has seen many other saints grow old, and even die, throughout his lifetime. And now that he is facing old age himself, he looks back on his past observations in order to draw present comfort.

“If God has never forsaken any of His servants in the past, then he will not forsake me now,” David seems to be saying. “Just as I have seen Samuel, and my father, and many others grow old—and God remained faithful to them to the end—God will be with me to the end, as well.”

Dear believer, God was faithful to David; and he will be faithful to you. He has never yet failed to make good on a single one of his promises; he will be with you through the challenges of youth, and in the losses and pains of old age.

Praise the LORD! 

[From the Baptist Devotional]

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CHRIST OUR ROCK AMIDST THE STORMS!

CHRIST OUR ROCK AMIDST THE STORMS!

The word “REFUGE” is from a Latin word meaning to escape and depicts a place which provides shelter or protection from trouble, danger or distress. A REFUGE is a place of safety and security. And so it is fitting for David to invite us: “O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes REFUGE IN HIM [the Solid Rock]!” [Ps 34:8-] In contrast, in his classic Paradise Lost, John Milton writes “Rocks, dens and caves [of this passing world]…in none of these, find place or REFUGE.”

In the Revelation, kings, great men, commanders, rich, strong, slave and free, all hide themselves in “the rocks” of this world and say “to the rocks “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him Who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” [Rev 6:15-16-, cp Lk 23:30, Isa 2:19-] Spurgeon writes “It will be vain to call to the rocks in the Day of Judgment, but our ROCK attends to our cries!”

And so we see that every man of every age will chose to hide either in the “rocks” of this passing world or in the “everlasting ROCK” [Isa 26:4], a solid, unchanging ROCK [Heb 13:8, Mal 3:6, Ps 102:26-27]. Indeed, the believer’s sure REFUGE in this world and the next is not a place but a Person, Christ Jesus, our “ROCK in Whom [we] take REFUGE” [Ps 18:2], for “Who is a ROCK, except our God?” [Ps 18:31]. “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.” [Ps 118:8] Spurgeon exhorts us “to let the sandy foundations of terrestrial trust be the choice of fools, but we are to be like one who foresees the storm, and builds for ourselves an abiding place upon the Rock of Ages.”

Ray Stedman encourages us to “Remember that, when you feel defeated, when you are under attack, when doubts come flooding into your mind. Remember that you are already encircled by the belt of truth. You have found the One who is the solid, unchanging Rock. The words of the hymn express this well: On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.” Moses affirms this faith stabilizing truth declaring “The ROCK! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just. A God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He” [Dt 32:4]

Moses then reminds us that the world’s “rock is not like our ROCK, as even our enemies concede.” [Dt 32:31]. Dear Father, we who are so prone to wander [and wonder!] ask that by Your sweet Spirit, you might enable us moment by moment “to fix our eyes on Jesus” [Heb 12:2], our “spiritual ROCK” [1Cor 10:4], so that we might not be like those of old who so often “neglected the ROCK” [Dt 32:18], who quickly forgot “the God of their salvation and who did not remember the ROCK of their REFUGE” [Isa 17:10, cp Hos 4:6]. Amen

Indeed, Moses affirms that “The eternal God is thy REFUGE, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee” [Dt 33:27] and “The last enemy that will be abolished is death.” [1Cor 15:26]. “Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD” [Ps 104:35], our everlasting Rock of Refuge. As Spurgeon affirms “I am in a cleft of a ROCK which is so enduring that time can never dissolve it. Precious Christ, may I be found in Thee amidst the concussion of the elements when the world shall melt away [2Pe 3:10-12], and the heavens shall be dissolved [Isa 34:4]! Oh, may I stand in Thee, Thou precious cleft of the Rock, for Thou art all-in-all to my soul!” Puritan Thomas Watson writes that as “the dove hides ‘in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliffs’ [Song 2:14], Christ’s wounds are the clefts of the rock where the believing soul hides itself!”

F B Meyer adds that He “is the Rock of Ages! Time may beat upon Him, but it cannot alter Him or impair Him. Whilst this fleeting breath is drawn, when eyes close in death, when unknown worlds are entered, when the judgment throne is set, always and forever the soul may shelter in the cleft Rock of the unchanging Redeemer, and Peace, like a double window, intercepts alarm from the heart which is stayed on God and trusting in Him [Isa 26:3]

Hallelujah!

[Quoted from Preceptaustin.org]

WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE!

WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE!

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words. [1Thes 4:13-18]

WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE!

There is coming a Day
When no heartaches shall come
No more clouds in the sky
No more tears to dim the eye
All is peace forevermore
On that happy golden shore
What a Day, glorious Day that will be!

Chorus:
What a Day that will be  When my Jesus I shall see
And I look upon His face The One who saved me by His grace
When He takes me by the hand  And leads me through the promised land,
What a Day, glorious Day that will be!

There’ll be no sorrow there
No more burdens to bear
No more sickness, no pain
No more parting over there
And forever I will be
With the One who died for me
What a day, glorious Day that will be!

PRAYERS FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY THE TEXAS CHURCH SHOOTING

GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH

PSALM 46

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

 

A STONE OR BREAD?

A STONE OR BREAD?

What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? — Matthew 7:9

No loving father would give a stone or a snake to his hungry son if he asked for a piece of bread or a fish. Jesus used the absurdity of that analogy in Matthew 7 to underscore the heavenly Father’s readiness to give good things to His children when they ask Him. He wanted them to have complete confidence in the Father’s provision for their spiritual needs.

Sometimes, however, it may seem as if the Lord has given us “stones” instead of “bread.” But in His wisdom, He actually is working through our circumstances to give us something far better than what we requested. An unknown author expressed it this way:

I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked God for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn to obey.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power and the praise of men;
I was given weakness to sense my 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 I asked for but everything I hoped for;
In spite of myself, my prayers were answered—
I am among all men most richly blessed.

Yes, God always gives us what’s best for us.

We ask amiss, but God answers aright!

 

DON’T THROW IN THE TOWEL YET CHRISTIAN

DON’T THROW IN THE TOWEL YET CHRISTIAN

A.W. Pink

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” [Galatians 6:9]

Regeneration is but the commencement of the saving operations of the Holy Spirit, and those who are the favored subjects of them are assured that, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ” [Phi 1:6], causing them to grow in grace and become fruitful branches of the Vine.
Yet the divine work of grace in a soul is not carried forward MECHANICALLY without any concurrence on the part of its subjects. It is a fatal error to conclude that because the work of salvation and sanctification is a divine one — that WE have no responsibility in connection therewith. Scripture teaches the very OPPOSITE: we are exhorted to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling — BECAUSE it is God who works in us [Phi 2:12-13]. Grace is bestowed not to encourage IDLENESS — but to energize unto holy activity. The Spirit of God does not produce APATHY — but stirs those He indwells unto a diligent use of means. The one who was loudest in owning, “But by the grace of God I am what I am,” hesitated not to add, “but I labored more abundantly than they all!” [1 Corinthians 15:10].God always deals with His people as rational and accountable creatures. Unto those who believed on Him, the Lord Jesus said, “If you CONTINUE in my word, then are you my disciples indeed” [John 8:31], and not merely by lip profession. The apostles returned to their converts, “confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them TO CONTINUE in the faith,” warning them that they “must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” [Act 14:22].

Walking that “narrow” way, which is the ONLY ONE “which leads unto life” [Mat 7:14], is not the easy matter which so many vainly imagine. Rather does it call for self-denial, godly fear, circumspection, and persevering effort. “AS you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord — SO walk in him” [Col 2:6] must be heeded by us if we are to make a good continuance. HOW did we “receive Christ Jesus the Lord”? By ceasing to fight against Him, and throwing down the weapons of our rebellion. By determining to end a life of self-will, giving ourselves up to Him freely and wholly, consenting to be His forever. By penitently confessing our sins and trusting in His redeeming blood. By coming empty-handed to draw upon His fullness.

How did we “receive” Him? As He is freely offered in the Gospel: “able also to save them to the uttermost all who come unto God by him” [Heb 7:25]. As a whole Christ: a PROPHET to teach, a PRIEST to atone, a KING to reign over us. As a COMPLETE Savior: to deliver from the penalty of sin, cleanse from its pollution, free from its power; to sanctify as well as justify, purify, and ultimately glorify. “SO walk you in him”: continue as you began — in subjection to, in dependence upon Him.

A Gospel FAITH — must issue in Gospel PRACTICE. “Walking in Christ means living OUT OF SELF, in conformity to Him. Only thus do we obtain evidence of having SAVINGLY “received” Him.

The GENUINENESS of faith is always seen in what it PRODUCES. Alas, the WALK of most professing Christians gives the lie to their TALK. A good continuance is only made possible by our regular use of those means of grace which God has appointed for His people.
If the WORD is neglected — the soul will be starved. . . .

If MEDITATION is not practiced — the heavenly manna will not be digested.

If PRAYER be omitted, or performed formally and mechanically — fresh supplies of grace will not be obtained.

Unless the love of God is kept constantly before the heart — the affections will soon cool.

Unless we draw daily upon Christ’s mediatorial fullness — we shall be feeble and incapable of wrestling with our foes.

Unless we tread the path of obedience — Satan will quickly overcome us.

There must also be a RIGHT USE of the means, or they will profit us nothing. The Word itself does not nourish — unless faith be mixed with it [Heb 4:2]. They must be used in a spirit of humble dependence on God, for they avail not apart from His BLESSING upon them. Put them not in the stead of Christ. Trust not in the mere use of them, as though your diligence therein ensured success. Yet they MUST BE USED patiently and perseveringly: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” [Gal 6:9]. Amen!

BRING NOTHING BUT YOUR SIN!

BRING NOTHING BUT YOUR SIN!

 By Thomas Wilcox

 “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” —MATTHEW 11:28

To believing, there must be a clear conviction of sin, and the merits of the blood of Christ, and of Christ’s willingness to save upon this consideration, merely, that you are a sinner. When we come to God, we must bring NOTHING but Christ with us. ANY ingredients, or any previous qualifications of our own, will poison and corrupt faith.

Believing is the most wonderful thing in the world. Put anything of your own to it, and you spoil it. Christ will not so much as look at it for believing. When you believe and come to Christ, you must leave behind your own righteousness, and BRING NOTHING BUT YOUR SIN: (Oh, that is hard!) leave behind all your holiness, sanctification, duties, or else Christ is not fit for you, nor you for Christ. Christ will be a pure Redeemer and Mediator, and you MUST BE AN UNDONE SINNER, OR CHRIST AND YOU WILL NEVER AGREE.

Hence see the nature of faith; it is a coming in as we are; poor, maimed, halt, blind, and naked as we are, without tarrying and waiting, for better qualifications, which we shall never have till we come in to Christ for them. WHATEVER COMES IN WHEN YOU GO TO GOD FOR ACCEPTANCE, BESIDES CHRIST, CALL IT ANTI-CHRIST; bid it begone; make only Christ’s righteousness triumphant. All besides that is Babylon, which must fall if Christ stand, and you shall rejoice in the day of the fall thereof, Isaiah 14:4. Christ alone did tread the winepress, and there was none with Him, Isaiah 63:3.

 IF YOU JOIN ANYTHING TO CHRIST, CHRIST WILL TRAMPLE UPON IT IN FURY AND ANGER, AND STAIN HIS RAIMENT WITH THE BLOOD OF IT.

You must take all out of God’s hand. Christ is the gift of God, John 4:10. Faith is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8. Pardon, a free gift, Isaiah 45:22. Ah, how nature storms, frets, rages at this, that all is a gift and it can purchase nothing with its actings, tears and duties, that all workings are excluded, and of no value in heaven.

You say you cannot believe, you cannot repent. Go to Christ with all your impenitence and unbelief, to get faith and repentance from Him; that is glorious. Tell Christ, “Lord, I have brought no righteousness, no grace to be accepted in, or justified by: I am come for Thine, and must have it.”

You may be brought low, even to the brink of hell, ready to tumble in; you cannot be brought lower than the belly of hell. EVEN THERE you may look toward the holy temple, Jonah 2:4. Into that temple none might enter but purified ones, and with an offering too, Acts 21:26. But now Christ is our temple, sacrifice, altar, high priest, to whom none must come but sinners, and that without any offering, but His own blood once offered, Hebrews 7:27.

Despairing sinner! You look on your right hand and on your left, saying, “Who will shew us any good?” You are tumbling over all your duties and professions to patch up a righteousness to save you. Look at Christ now; look to Him and be saved all the ends of the earth. There is none else. He is a Saviour, and there is none beside Him, Isaiah 45:21,22.

Look anywhere else and you are undone. God will look at nothing but Christ, and you must look at nothing else. Christ is lifted up on high, as the brazen serpent in the wilderness, that sinners at the ends of the earth, at the greatest distance, may see Him and look towards Him. The least sight of Him will be saving, the least touch healing to you.

God intends that you should look on Him, for He has set Him on a high throne of glory, in the open view of all poor sinners who desire Him. You have infinite reason to look on Him, no reason at all to look away from Him: for He is meek and lowly of heart, Matthew 11:29.

He is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” John 1:29. And he has drunk the bitterest of the cup and left the sweet; the condemnation is out. Christ drunk up all the Father’s wrath at one draught; and nothing but salvation is left for you, Luke 23:33,34.

See that the wound that sin has made in your soul be perfectly cured by the blood of Christ! not skinned over with duties, humblings and enlargements. APPLY WHAT YOU WILL BESIDES THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, IT WILL POISON THE SORE. You will find that sin was never mortified truly, if you have not seen Christ bleeding for you upon the cross. Nothing can kill it, but beholding Christ’s righteousness!

THE FALLING SPARROW  – A MEDITATION

THE FALLING SPARROW  – A MEDITATION

John Marshall

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?” [Matt 10:29]
Jesus, sending forth the Twelve to do ministry and missions, here takes time to encourage them. Their involvement in kingdom work entails danger. To depict God’s tender loving care for them, our Master used sparrows as an object lesson.

Sparrows, the smallest and least valuable of edible birds, were cheap finger food. They could be purchased live, if a buyer wanted to cook them fresh at home, or could be bought plucked and stuck on skewers, ready to be eaten like kebabs.

The price was right, two for a penny, five for two pennies (Luke 12:6). By paying extra, a sparrow was thrown in free to make a bargain. Sparrows were cheap, not valuable, in people’s eyes a trifle, but in God’s eyes, not trivial. Even the free fifth sparrow, the one thrown in to close a deal, was not forgotten by God.

“And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” [Matt 10:29]

Few things in nature seem less significant than a dying sparrow plummeting to the ground. Nevertheless, God attends the funeral of every fallen sparrow.

Our text does not say a sparrow falls without His knowing about it. This is a valid and accurate observation, but does not convey the precise intent of our text.

God knows, but also somehow vitally interacts, with a sparrow’s fall. Even seemingly callous, capricious laws of nature are not outside Father’s involvement.

What appear to us to be accidents of nature are never off God’s radar screen. He tracks each fowl on the wing, logging every mile they fly. Though birds are as numerous as stars, none of them, not one, is ever lost track of by God. Even birds of no value to people, including the free fifth sparrow, are never forgotten by God.

When gravity draws a dying bird to the ground, God descends in the fall, accompanying the flight as a constant active presence in the moment. In a very real way, God is with dying sparrows. When a bird fulfils its purpose, God gives it a nest in which to die, and the nest is His own soft, infinite presence (Morgan).

Well, this is all interesting and good for ornithologists and bird watchers, but what does it have to do with you and me? EVERYTHING!! If God is engaged in every small incident in a sparrow’s life, He is also intimately involved in OUR LIVES.

God is aware of every incident, however little, in our lives. They are not outside His knowledge, nor are they outside His care and involvement. Whatever minutia hurts us grieves the Father, draws Him near, and engages His intervention.

I desperately need this truth branded deep in me. In worship last Sunday we wrote on cards what we feel keeps us from growing in Christ. I wrote on my card “Distrust. I need to trust Jesus more.” To these verses about God’s interest in us I come with a profound spirit of humility. I approach them more as student eager to learn than as accomplished teacher. I must make progress in trusting Christ more.

My personal quest is not primarily focused on gaining increased knowledge about God’s ways, though this is a worthy goal. My chief objective is increased faith in God’s ways. Facts alone do not provide answers adequate for our frailties.

“If I understood God, he could not be the true God. . . .When I cannot climb, I kneel. Where I cannot build an observatory, I set up an altar” (Spurgeon).

We do want increased knowledge, but along with it we crave deeper peace, stronger confidence. We want to trust God more in every part, every inch, of life.

We yearn to draw closer to this One whose involvement in our lives is punctual and particular, whose omnipotence and omniscience make His interaction with us universal. Finite minds fumble with Infinity, yet long to love it anyway.

Our Father does not flit (move swiftly) in and out of lives, stopping by only on occasions when He thinks He has time, and feels a need to deal with some matter of huge importance. God does not take care of big things and leave little things to chance.

The two are in fact indistinguishable. What we deem important often fizzles into being trivial. What we see as insignificant may change the course of history.

The Bible records two events that occurred at Dothan (Gen 37:17; 2 Kin 6:13). Here Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, and Elisha’s scared servant saw the mountain filled with God’s protecting horses and chariots of fires. The latter, a huge miracle, is often told to inspire confidence in God. Joseph being sold into slavery isn’t as exciting a story, but God used it to save the whole nation of Israel.
From our limited viewpoint, we can’t predict if an event, however trivial or important it seems to us, will prove huge or not. In high school, I rode horses one Sunday afternoon. I so chafed the insides of my thighs that I preached that night with my legs bowed to keep my pants from galling my skin. You may laugh it off as insignificant, but due to this, months later I did not go ride horses on a Sunday afternoon with a college revival team. One other student also chose not to go, for reasons I don’t know. We two were put in an elderly couple’s home that afternoon and fell in love. Ruth and I are wed today because we chose not to go horse back riding one afternoon in Ellington MO. Let us rejoice in serving a God engaged in each moment, each detail, each incident, of life. We must come to trust Him in all.

We need this blessed assurance, for tough times await us. God watches and cares, but sparrows still fall. Even in the Lord’s holy work itself, troubles dog our steps. Sometimes God wills His servants to suffer and yea to die. The Lord said of Saul of Tarsus, “I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (AC 9:16). It helps us to know in all of life, but especially in doing ministry and missions, nothing bad can happen to us without our Father knowing about it in advance, allowing it to come, and accompanying it to us with His own dear presence. Harm can befall us only if God sees good reason for it to come our way.

In our text, Jesus was sending the Twelve on a dangerous mission, a microcosm of what their life work would become. In later years, they all were hurt, and most died, for their dear Savior’s cause. Come life or come death, they needed to know Jesus would be engaged with them. We too need to know this.

To prove His involvement even in these situations, Jesus appeared at the death of the first martyr in Acts (7:55). As Stephen died a martyr’s death, the Master STOOD in respect and LET HIS STANDING BE SEEN. The sight speaks comfort into our darkest hours. If we believe God is with us in situations this inexplicable, we can believe He is with us in EVERY difficulty. Amen!

THE COMFORTS OF GOD DELIGHT MY SOUL!

THE COMFORTS OF GOD DELIGHT MY SOUL!

Susannah Spurgeon (1898)

‘In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul.” [Psalm 94:19]

“Thy comforts delight my soul!” Blessed Lord, how sweet is this text in my mouth! The taste of it is “like wafers made with honey.” It is both food and drink to my heart, for every word has joy and refreshing in it; so that, like the “best wine” of the Canticles, it “goes down sweetly.”

The first of Thy comforts, gracious God, is this — that You have said unto my soul, “I am Thy salvation!” He SAVES us, not because of any merit in us, or any deservings of our own; but because sovereign grace CHOSE us, and Divine compassion REDEEMED us. And when we were afar off, infinite pity brought us back, and made us near by the precious blood of Christ. This may well comfort our hearts — coming as it does directly from “our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace!” A saved and pardoned sinner can truly say, “THY COMFORTS DELIGHT MY SOUL!”

The next thought is that, having SAVED us — He KEEPS us. “We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” Comparatively few Christians put GOD’S KEEPING POWER fully to the test. If we would trust Him for the KEEPING, as we do for the SAVING — our lives would be far holier and happier than they are. “I will keep it every moment,” is one of those grandly unlimited promises which most of us are afraid of; and we store them away in the background because we dare not believe them, and bring them out into the light of our DAILY PRACTICE. O foolish and unbelieving hearts, how much of soul-delighting comfort do we thus miss!

Then comes another thought — He CARES for us. Dear friends, if you are His, you know the exceeding comfort of CASTING ALL YOUR CARE UPON HIM — and being quite sure that He will “undertake” for you. Have we not often come to Him oppressed and burdened with an INTOLERABLE WEIGHT OF ANXIETY AND DISTRESS — and been enabled to roll the whole mass of it on Him, leaving it all at His feet, and returning to our work with a lightened and restful heart? Some of us have had burdens and sorrows, which would have crushed the very life out of us — if we had not been enabled to look up and say, “You, O Lord, have helped and comforted me!” Yes, truly, God’s care for us is one of the sweetest comforts of our mortal life!

Closely linked with this, is the thought that He KNOWS all about us. Our enemies — sometimes, even our friends — misunderstand and malign us; they misconstrue our words and actions, and impute to us motives which never actuated us. But our God knows the THOUGHTS and INTENTS of our heart, and never makes a mistake in the judgment He passes on us. The comfort of this knowledge on the Lord’s part, to those who are “suffering wrongfully,” is inexpressibly precious. They can lift up their heads with joy, and say, “The Lord is good. He knows those who trust in Him.” I have known this comfort to so delight my soul, that trials and temptations had no power to vex or annoy it, for my soul was hidden “secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.”

Lastly (though there are many, many more), one of the multitude of thoughts which stand out prominently from the rest, as a comfort which delights the soul — is that He LOVES us. This truth has been running through the fields of previous thought, as a silver streamlet glides through the meadows — here, it would deepen and expand to a broad and fathomless ocean, had I the power to speak of its height, and depth, and length, and breadth, and to tell of the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge! But my pen utterly fails here. You who love Him, and know that He loves you — must each one say to himself what that “comfort of His love” is to your own heart. This will be a better commentary than any I can offer.

And, if some poor distressed soul is mourning the loss of the sweet consolation which Christ’s love alone can give — let him call to remembrance a tenderly precious promise which the Lord put into the lips of the prophet Isaiah, “I have seen his ways — but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him!” Isaiah 57:18

GOD’S CARE FOR HIS ELECT

GOD’S CARE FOR HIS ELECT

C.H. Spurgeon

“Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” [Luke 12:27]

So that God cares not only for things that have necessities, as ravens have, but for things that have luxuries, as lilies have! When God does anything, He does it well. He is a grand Housekeeper! He does not measure out so many ounces of bread per diem, as if we were in a workhouse, but, “they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” The lilies might do as well without their golden hues. They might ripen their seed without the lengthened stems that lift them where they can be observed, but God takes more care of them, even, than Solomon did of himself, for, “Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Now, dear children of God, if you trust your Heavenly Father, He will see that you have no cause for care. If you trust Him with your souls, He will not give you a bare salvation, but a rich robe of righteousness to cover all your nakedness! When He does any work, He does it after a better fashion than the wisest of men could do it and, Nature herself, working as she does for the lilies, is only God working in another way! But when God, Himself, without the intervention of the laws of Nature, works in the Kingdom of His Grace, He does it perfectly—He does it gloriously!

If, then, God so clothes the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? Your life is not like that of the grass, or the flower of the field that fades on a summer’s day. God will take care of you and the everlasting things shall have from Him a care greater than He gives to the temporal. Yet how much God really does for flowers—flowers that only open their cups in the morning and shut them in death at night! How much of skill and wisdom there is, even, about them! Shall there not be greater skill and wisdom employed upon you who, when you have once begun to bloom in the Light of God, shall go on blooming, flowering and shedding your perfume throughout the endless ages?