We Pray That The Seeds Of Truth Contained In This Blog Will Penetrate The Good Soil Of Your Heart And Bear Much Fruit.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Food And Rest

Eze 34:15  I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.

Under the divine shepherdry saints are fed to the full. Theirs is not a windy, unsatisfying mess of mere human "thought," but the LORD feeds them upon the solid, substantial truth of divine revelation. 

There is real nutriment for the soul in Scripture brought home to the heart by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Himself is the true life-sustaining Food of believers. Here our Great Shepherd promises that such sacred nourishment shall be given us by His own self. 

If, on the LORD's Day, our earthly shepherd is empty-handed, the LORD is not.

When filled with holy truth the mind rests.

Those whom Jehovah feeds are at peace. No dog shall worry them, no wolf shall devour them, no restless propensities shall disturb them.

They shall lie down and digest the food which they have enjoyed.

The doctrines of grace are not only sustaining but consoling: in them we have the means for building up and lying down.

If preachers do not give us rest, let us look to the LORD for it.

This day may the LORD cause us to feed in the pastures of the Word and make us to lie down in them.

May no folly and no worry but meditation and peace mark this day.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

He That Watereth Shall Be Watered Also Himself

Pro 11:25  The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

We are here taught the great lesson, that to get, we must give; that to accumulate, we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others.

In watering others, we are ourselves watered. How? Our efforts to be useful, bring out our powers for usefulness.
 

We have latent talents and dormant faculties, which are brought to light by exercise.

Our strength for labor is hidden even from ourselves, until we venture forth to fight the Lord’s battles, or to climb the mountains of difficulty.

We do not know what tender sympathies we possess until we try to dry the widow’s tears, and soothe the orphan’s grief.

We often find in attempting to teach others, that we gain instruction for ourselves. 

Oh, what gracious lessons some of us have learned at sick beds! We went to teach the Scriptures, we came away blushing that we knew so little of them.

In our converse with poor saints, we are taught the way of God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper insight into divine truth.

So that watering others makes us humble. 

We discover how much grace there is where we had not looked for it; and how much the poor saint may outstrip us in knowledge.

Our own comfort is also increased by our working for others. We endeavour to cheer them, and the consolation gladdens our own heart.

Like the two men in the snow; one chafed the other’s limbs to keep him from dying, and in so doing kept his own blood in circulation, and saved his own life.
 

The poor widow of Sarepta gave from her scanty store a supply for the prophet’s wants, and from that day she never again knew what want was.

Give then, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and running over.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Just Shall Live By Faith

Heb 10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  

Seemings and feelings are often substituted for faith. 

Pleasurable emotions and deep satisfying experiences are part of the Christian life, but they are not all of it.

Trials, conflicts, battles and testings lie along the way, and are not to be counted as misfortunes, but rather as part of our necessary discipline.

In all these varying experiences we are to reckon on Christ as dwelling in the heart, regardless of our feelings if we are walking obediently before Him.

Here is where many get into trouble; they try to walk by feeling rather than faith.

One of the saints tells us that it seemed as though God had withdrawn Himself from her. His mercy seemed clean gone.

For six weeks her desolation lasted, and then the Heavenly Lover seemed to say:

Catherine, thou hast looked for Me without in the world of sense, but all the while I have been within waiting for thee; meet Me in the inner chamber of thy spirit, for I am there.

Distinguish between the fact of God's presence, and the emotion of the fact.

It is a happy thing when the soul seems desolate and deserted, if our faith can say, "I see Thee not. I feel Thee not, but Thou art certainly and graciously here, where I am as I am."

Say it again and again: Thou art here: though the bush does not seem to burn with fire, it does burn. 

I will take the shoes from off my feet, for the place on which I stand is holy ground.

~London Christian~

Believe God's word and power more than you believe your own feelings and experiences. Your Rock is Christ, and it is not the Rock which ebbs and flows, but your sea.

~Samuel Rutherford~

Keep your eye steadily fixed on the infinite grandeur of Christ's finished work and righteousness. 

Look to Jesus and believe, look to Jesus and live! Nay, more; as you look to him, hoist your sails and buffet manfully the sea of life. 

Do not remain in the haven of distrust, or sleeping on your shadows in inactive repose, or suffering your frames and feelings to pitch and toss on one another like vessels idly moored in a harbor.

The religious life is not a brooding over emotions, grazing the keel of faith in the shallows, or dragging the anchor of hope through the oozy tide mud as if afraid of encountering the healthy breeze.

Away! With your canvas spread to the gale, trusting in Him, who rules the raging of the waters.

The safety of the tinted bird is to be on the wing. If its haunt be near the ground-if it fly low-it exposes itself to the fowler's net or snare.

If we remain grovelling on the low ground of feeling and emotion, we shall find ourselves entangled in a thousand meshes of doubt and despondency, temptation and unbelief.

Pro 1:17  Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

Hope thou in God. 

~J. R. Macduff~

When I cannot enjoy the faith of assurance, I live by the faith of adherence.

~Matthew Henry~

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Be Sure Of His Promises

1Ch 17:23  Therefore now, LORD, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said.
 

1Ch 17:24  Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.

This is a most blessed phase of true prayer. Many a time we ask for things which are not absolutely promised.

We are not sure therefore until we have persevered for some time whether our petitions are in the line of God's purpose or no. 

There are other occasions, and in the life of David this was one, when we are fully persuaded that what we ask is according to God's will.

We feel led to take up and plead some promise from the page of Scripture, under the special impression that it contains a message for us.

At such times, in confident faith, we say, "Do as Thou hast said."

There is hardly any position more utterly beautiful, strong, or safe, than to put the finger upon some promise of the Divine word, and claim it.

There need be no anguish, or struggle, or wrestling; we simply present the check and ask for cash, produce the promise, and claim its fulfillment; nor can there be any doubt as to the issue.

It would give much interest to prayer, if we were more definite. It is far better to claim a few things specifically than a score vaguely.

~F. B. Meyer~

Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God, which may be pleaded before Him with this reasonable request: "Do as Thou hast said."

The Creator will not cheat His creature who depends upon His truth; and far more, the Heavenly Father will not break His word to His own child.

Remember the word unto thy servant, on which thou hast caused me to hope, is most prevalent pleading.

It is a double argument: it is Thy Word. Wilt Thou not keep it?

Why hast thou spoken of it, if Thou wilt not make it good.

Thou hast caused me to hope in it, wilt Thou disappoint the hope which Thou has Thyself begotten in me?

~C. H. Spurgeon~

Rom 4:21  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 

It is the everlasting faithfulness of God that makes a Bible promise "exceeding great and precious." 

Human promises are often worthless.

Many a broken promise has left a broken heart.

But since the world was made, God has never broken a single promise made to one of His trusting children.

Oh, it is sad for a poor Christian to stand at the door of the promise, in the dark night of affliction, afraid to draw the latch, whereas he should then come boldly for shelter as a child into his father's house.

~Gurnal~

Every promise is built upon four pillars: God's justice and holiness, which will not suffer Him to deceive; His grace or goodness, which will not suffer Him to forget; His truth, which will not suffer Him to change, which makes Him able to accomplish.

~Selected~

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hold On Until The End

Heb 3:14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
 

It is the last step that wins; and there is no place in the pilgrim's progress where so many dangers lurk as the region that lies hard by the portals of the Celestial City.

It was there that Doubting Castle stood. It was there that the enchanted ground lured the tired traveler to fatal slumber.

It is when Heaven's heights are full in view that hell's gate is most persistent and full of deadly peril. 

Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. So run, that ye may obtain.

In the bitter waves of woe Beaten and tossed about By the sullen winds that blow From the desolate shores of doubt, Where the anchors that faith has cast Are dragging in the gale, I am quietly holding fast To the things that cannot fail.

And fierce though the fiends may fight, And long though the angels hide, I know that truth and right Have the universe on their side; And that somewhere beyond the stars Is a love that is better than fate.

When the night unlocks her bars I shall see Him...and I will wait.

~Washington Gladden~

The problem of getting great things from God is being able to hold on for the last half hour.

~Selected~

Friday, August 12, 2016

Christ's Certain Knowledge Of His Limited Time

John 11:9  Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

There were many reasons for that wholehearted zeal which it does not fall to me to touch on here.

But one was the certain knowledge of the Lord that there were only twelve hours in His day.

Before His birth, in His pre-existent life, there had been no rising or setting of the sun.

After His death, in the life beyond the grave, the day would be endless, for "there is no night there."

But here on earth with a mighty work to do and to get finished before His side was pierced, Christ was aroused into triumphant energy by the thought of the determined time. "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."

What is it but the shadow of sunset and the breath of the twilight that was soon to fall?

A day at its longest...what a little space!

Twelve hours - they are ringing to evensong already!

Under that power the tide that seemed asleep moved on "too full for sound or foam."

It is always very wonderful to me that Christ thus felt the shortness of the time.

This Child of Eternity heard with quickened ear the muffled summons of the fleeting hours.

It is only occasionally that we hearken to it; far more commonly we seek to silence it.

Most men, as Professor Lecky says, are afraid to look time in the face.

But Christ was never afraid to look time in the face; steadily He eyed the sinking sands, till moved to His depths by the urgency of days, the zeal of the house of His Father ate Him up.

Have you awakened to that compelling thought, or do you live as if your sun would never set?

There are but twelve hours in the day, and it will be sunset before you dream of it.

Get done what God has sent you here to do.

Wait not for the fool's phantom of tomorrow...Act, act today, act in the living present!

~George H. Morrison~

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It Is Never Safe To Make Pets Of Tigers!

Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Gen 4:5  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him!

Gen 4:8  And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

See here, the fearful growth of the evil feeling in Cain's heart.

It was only a thought at first...but it was admitted into the heart and cherished there. Then it grew until it caused a terrible crime!

We learn here, the danger of cherishing even the smallest beginning of bitterness; we do not know to what it will grow!

Some people think lightly of bad temper, laughing at it as a mere harmless weakness; but it is a perilous mood to indulge, and we do not know to what it may lead.
 

Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you!  In His reproof of Cain, the Lord likens his sin to a wild beast lying in hiding by his door, ready to leap on him and devour him.

This is true of all sin which is cherished in the heart. It may long lie quiet and seem harmless but it is only a wild beast sleeping!

There is a story of a man who took a young tiger and resolved to make a pet of it. It moved about his house like a kitten and grew up fond and gentle.

For a long time its savage, blood-thirsty nature seemed changed into gentleness, and the creature was quiet and harmless.

But one day the man was playing with his 'pet', when by accident his hand was scratched and the beast tasted blood.


That one taste, aroused all the fierce tiger nature, and the ferocious animal flew on his master and tore him to pieces!

So it is, with the passions and lusts of the old nature, which are only petted and tamed and allowed to reside in the heart.

They will crouch at the door in treacherous lurking, and in some unguarded hour they will rise up in all their old ferocity!

It is never safe to make pets of tigers!


It is never safe to make pets of little sins!

We never know what sin may grow into if we let it abide in our heart!


Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him!

That is what came of the passion of envy in Cain's heart!

It was left unrebuked, unrepented of, uncrushed and in time it grew to fearful strength.

Then in an evil moment, its tiger nature asserted itself!

We never know to what dreadful stature  a little sin may grow!


~J. R. Miller~

Monday, August 8, 2016

How Do I Mortify The Flesh?

The flesh is a bosom traitor; it is like the Trojan horse within the walls, which does all the mischief.

The flesh is a sly enemy...it kills by embracing.

The embraces of the flesh are like the ivy embracing the oak; which sucks out the strength of it for its own leaves and berries. 

So the flesh by its soft embraces, sucks out of the heart all good.

The pampering of the flesh, is the quenching of God's Spirit.
 

The flesh chokes and stifles holy motions...the flesh sides with
Satan.


There is a party within us, which will not pray, which will not believe.

The flesh inclines us more to believe a temptation than a promise.

The flesh is so near to us, its counsels are more attractive. 

There is no chain of adamant which binds so tightly as the chain of lust.

In the best of saints, do what they can, sin will fasten its roots in them, and spring out sometimes with inordinate desires.


There is always something which needs mortifying.

Col 3:5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

How do I mortify the flesh?

1. Withdraw the fuel that may make lust burn.


Avoid all temptations. Take heed of that which nourishes sin.
Those who pray that they may not be led into temptation must not lead themselves into temptation.

2. Fight against fleshly lusts with spiritual weapons...faith and prayer. 


The best way to combat with sin is upon our knees. Beg strength from Christ. 

Samson's strength lay in his hair; our strength lies in our head...Christ.

This is a mystery to the major part of the world...who gratify the flesh rather than mortify it.

~Thomas Watson~

Friday, August 5, 2016

Brooks Dry Up, Cisterns Become Broken

I am your inheritance, says our loving Lord; and
as we live by faith, we find that we have a treasure in the heavens which fails not.

Brooks dry up, cisterns become broken
but the all-fullness treasured in Jesus is inexhaustible!
 

And in the greatest outward straits we may be living in plenty and rejoicing in Him!

Hab 3:17  Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Hab 3:18  Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

We can rejoice in Him whether He bestows or
withholds...spiritually or temporally. 


~Ruth Bryan~

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Religion Of This Poor Hottentot Woman

It is the practice of some of the Christian Hottentots, in order to enjoy the privilege of secret prayer with greater privacy and freedom than they could do in their own confined and incommodious dwellings-to retire among the trees and bushes, that they may carry on their devotions without being intruded on by others, and also derive all that tranquilizing influence which would be produced by a spot, with which no other occupations, thoughts, and feelings are associated, than such as are holy.

Each individual selects for his own use a particular bush, behind which, and concealed by it, he may commune with his heavenly Father in secret.
 

By the others, this bush is considered as sacred to the one by whom it had been appropriated; and which, therefore, is never to be violated by the foot, or even by the gaze of another, during the season it is occupied by its proprietor.
 

The constant tread of the worshipers, in their repeated visits to these hallowed spots, would, of necessity, wear a path in the grass which lay between their huts, and the sylvan scene of their communion with God.

On one occasion, a Christian Hottentot woman said to another member of their little community, "Sister, I am afraid you are somewhat declining in piety."


The words were accompanied with a look of affection, and were uttered with a tone that savored nothing of accusation, nor of reproachful severity...but was expressive of tender concern, and the meekness of wisdom.

The individual thus addressed, asked her friend for the reason of her fears. 

Because, replied this good and gentle spirit, "the grass has grown over your path to your bush.

Nature carrying on its usual progress, had disclosed the secret.
 

The backslider could not deny the fact. There, in the growing grass, was the indisputable evidence that the feet which had once trodden it down had ceased to frequent the spot.

She did not attempt to excuse it, but fell under the sweet influence of this sisterly reproof, and confessed, with ingenuous shame and sorrow, that her heart had turned away from the Lord.

The admonition had its desired effect...the sinner was converted from the error of her ways, and her watchful and faithful reprover had the satisfaction and reward of seeing the wanderer restored-not only to the path to the bush, but to the renewed favor of that God with whom she there again communed in secret.

Note the value of private prayer, and the connection between its regular and spiritual performance, and a healthy state of the soul.


When the bush was neglected, and the path to it forsaken-then did the religion of this poor Hottentot woman begin to spiritually decline.

And how could it be otherwise? Who ever kept up a vigorous piety when secret prayer was neglected?

It is in the closet of private devotion, that our cares are lightened, our sorrows mitigated, our corruptions mortified, our graces strengthened, and we shake off the dust of the earth!


~John Angell James~

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Night Of Pure Faith

Gen 15:12  And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

The sun at last went down, and the swift, eastern night cast its heavy veil over the scene.


Worn out with the mental conflict, the watchings, and the exertions of the day, Abraham fell into a deep sleep, and in that sleep is soul was oppressed with a dense and dreadful darkness, such as almost stifled him, and lay like a nightmare upon his heart.

Do you understand something of the horror of that darkness?

When some terrible sorrow which seems so hard to reconcile with perfect love, crushes down upon the soul, wringing from it all its peaceful rest in the pitifulness of God, and launching it on a sea unlit by a ray of hope;

When unkindness, and cruelty maltreat the trusting heart, till it begins to doubt whether there be a God overhead who can see and still permit...these know something of the "horror of great darkness."

It is thus that human life is made up; brightness and gloom; shadow and sun; long tracks of cloud, succeeded by brilliant glints of light...

And amid all Divine justice is working out its own schemes, affecting others equally with the individual soul which seems the subject of special discipline.

O ye who are filled with the horror of great darkness because of God's dealings with mankind, learn to trust that infallible wisdom, which is co-assessor with immutable justice;

And know that He who passed through the horror of the darkness of Calvary, with the cry of forsakenness, is ready to bear you company through the valley of the shadow of death till you see the sun shining upon its further side.

Let us, by our Forerunner, send forward our anchor, Hope, within the veil that parts us from the unseen; where it will grapple in ground and will not yield, but hold until the day dawns, and we follow it into the haven guaranteed to us by God's immutable counsel.

~F. B. Meyer~

The disciples thought that that angry sea separated them from Jesus. Nay, some of them thought worse than that;

They thought that the trouble that had come upon them was a sign that Jesus had forgotten all about them, and did not care for them.

Oh, dear friend, that is when troubles have a sting, when the devil whispers, "God has forgotten you; God has forsaken you"; when your unbelieving heart cries as Gideon cried, "If the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us?"

The evil has come upon you to bring the Lord nearer to you. 

The evil has not come upon you to separate you from Jesus, but to make you cling to Him more faithfully, more tenaciously, more simply.

~F. S. Webster, M.A.~

Never should we so abandon ourselves to God as when He seems to have abandoned us.

Let us enjoy light and consolation when it is His pleasure to give it to us, but let us not attach ourselves to His gifts, but to Himself;

And when He plunges us into the night of pure faith, let us still press on through the agonizing darkness.

Oh, for faith that brings the triumph When defeat seems strangely near!

Oh, for faith that brings the triumph Into victory's ringing cheer...

Faith triumphant; knowing not defeat or fear.

~Herbert Booth~

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Full Salvation

1Th 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

1Th 5:24  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Many years since I saw that "without holiness no man shall see the Lord." I began by following after it and inciting all with whom I had communication to do the same. 

Ten years after, God gave me a clearer view than I ever had before of the way to obtain it; namely, by faith in the Son of God.

And immediately I declared to all, "We are saved from sin, we are made holy by faith." This I testified in private, in public, and in print, and God confirmed it by a thousand witnesses. 

I have continued to declare this for above thirty years, and God has continued to confirm my work. 

~John Wesley in 1771~

I knew Jesus, and He was very precious to my soul; but I found something in me that would not keep sweet and patient and kind.

I did what I could to keep it down, but it was there.

I besought Jesus to do something for me, and, when I gave Him my will, He came to my heart, and took out all that would not be sweet, all that would not be kind, all that would not be patient, and then HE shut the door.

~George Fox~

My whole heart has not one single grain, this moment, of thirst after approbation. I feel alone with God; He fills the void; I have not one wish, one will, one desire, but in Him; He hath set my feet in a large room.

I have wondered and stood amazed that God should make a conquest of all within me by love.

~Lady Huntington~

All at once I felt as though a hand...not feeble, but omnipotent; not of wrath, but of love-was laid on my brow. 

I felt it not outwardly but inwardly. It seemed to press upon my whole being, and to diffuse all through me a holy, sin-consuming energy.

As it passed downward, my heart as well as my head was conscious of the presence of this soul-cleansing energy, under the influence of which I fell to the floor, and in the joyful surprise of the moment, cried out in a loud voice.

Still the hand of power wrought without and within; and wherever it moved, it seemed to leave the glorious influence of the Saviour's image.

For a few minutes the deep ocean of God's love swallowed me up; all its waves and billows rolled over me.

~Bishop Hamline~

Holiness...as I then wrote down some of my contemplations on it-appeared to me to be of a sweet, calm, pleasant, charming, serene nature, which brought an inexpressible purity, brightness, peacefulness, ravishment to the soul; 

In other words, that it made the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant fruits and flowers, all delightful and undisturbed, enjoying a sweet calm and the gentle living beams of the sun.

~Jonathan Edwards~

Love's resistless current sweeping All the regions deep within; Thought and wish and senses keeping Now, and every instant clean:
      

Full salvation! Full salvation! From the guilt and power of sin.


Monday, July 25, 2016

In Their Affliction They Will Seek Me Early

Losses and adversities are frequently the means which the great Shepherd uses to fetch home his wandering sheep; like fierce dogs they worry the wanderers back to the fold.

There is no making lions tame if they are too well fed; they must be brought down from their great strength, and their stomachs must be lowered, and then they will submit to the tamer’s hand;
 

And often have we seen the Christian rendered obedient to the Lord’s will by straitness of bread and hard labour.

When rich and increased in goods many professors carry their heads much too loftily, and speak exceeding boastfully.

Like David, they flatter themselves, “My mountain standeth fast; I shall never be moved.”

When the Christian groweth wealthy, is in good repute, hath good health, and a happy family, he too often admits Mr. Carnal Security to feast at his table, and then if he be a true child of God there is a rod preparing for him.
 

Wait awhile, and it may be you will see his substance melt away as a dream. There goes a portion of his estate...how soon the acres change hands.

That debt, that dishonoured bill...how fast his losses roll in, where will they end?

It is a blessed sign of divine life if when these embarrassments occur one after another he begins to be distressed about his backslidings, and betakes himself to his God.

Blessed are the waves that wash the mariner upon the rock of salvation! Losses in business are often sanctified to our soul’s enriching.

If the chosen soul will not come to the Lord full-handed, it shall come empty.

If God, in his grace, findeth no other means of making us honour him among men, he will cast us into the deep;

If we fail to honor him on the pinnacle of riches, he will bring us into the valley of poverty. 

Yet faint not, heir of sorrow, when thou art thus rebuked, rather recognize the loving hand which chastens, and say, “I will arise, and go unto my Father.”

~Charles Spurgeon~


Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Loving Purpose


Psalm 35:27  Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. 

What is "prosperity?" Is it threads of life weaved into a bright outcome? a full cup? ample riches? worldly applause? an unbroken circle?

No! these are often a snare; received without gratitude; dimming the soul to its nobler destinies. 

Often spiritually, it rather means God taking us by the hand into the lowly Valleys of Humiliation; leading us as He did His servant Job of old; out of his sheep, oxen, camels, health, wealth, children; in order that we may be brought before Him in the dust, and say, "Blessed be His holy name! 

Yes! The very reverse of what is generally known in the world as Prosperity... forms the background on which the Rainbow of Promise is seen.

God smiles on us through these rainbows and teardrops of sorrows!

He loves us too well. He has too great an interest in our spiritual welfare to permit us to live on in what is misnamed "Prosperity."

When He sees duties languidly performed, or coldly neglected, the heart deadened, and love to Himself congealed by the absorbing power of the present world...He puts a thorn in our nest to drive us to the wing and prevent our being grovelers forever!

I may not be able now to understand the mystery of these dealings. I may be asking through the tears, "Why this unkind arrest on my earthly happiness? 

Why so premature a lopping of my boughs of promise? Why such a speedy withering of my most cherished gourd?"

The answer is plain. It is your soul's prosperity which He has in view.

Believe it — your true Ebenezers will yet be raised close by your Zarephaths (the place of furnace).

His afflictions are no arbitrary appointments. There is righteous necessity in all that He does.

As He lays His chastening hand upon you, and leads you by ways you know not, and which you never would have chosen...He whispers the gentle accents in your ear, "Beloved I wish above all things that you would prosper even as your soul prospers."

Rest in the quiet consciousness that all is well.

Murmur at nothing which brings you nearer to His own loving Presence. Be thankful for your very cares, because you can confidently cast them all upon Him.

He has both your temporal and eternal "prosperity" too much at heart to appoint one superfluous pang, one needless stroke.

Commit therefore, all that concerns you to His safe keeping, and leave it there!

~John Macduff~