Dr. Doddridge was walking out one day in a very depressed state of mind. His trials were at that time peculiarly heavy; he saw no way of deliverance from them, and he was greatly discouraged. As he passed along, the door of a little cottage was standing open, and he heard a child’s voice reading the words, “As your days — so shall your strength be.” The effect produced upon his saddened feelings was indescribable; his despondency vanished, and his heart was filled with peace and joy.
Yes, one simple promise from God, is enough to chase our fears and cheer our hearts. Our wants and weaknesses are many — but he knows them all, and is both able and willing to supply our every need. Then let us “seek the Lord, and his strength;” let our earnest and constant petitions at the throne of grace be, “Give your strength unto your servant.” “Strengthen me according unto your Word.” For it is those who wait upon the Lord, who shall renew their strength. “Wait,” then, “on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart!”
The faithfulness of his character, is your security for the fulfillment of his promises; for “the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent.” “Has he said — and shall he not do it? or has he spoken — and shall he not make it good?” And his conduct to his people in past days is a pledge of his readiness to help them now; for he is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” He has been a strength to the poor — a strength to the needy in his distress. He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” There should be no hesitation on our part to apply for the strength which we require, for there is no reluctance on God’s part to communicate it. In his hand, it is to give strength to all. A sense of our weakness, and a cry for his aid — are the only pre-requisites for its bestowal.
But how is this strength imparted? It is the gift of God, and through grace, is laid hold of by faith. Faith is the hand which grasps and appropriates the promises, and thus fills the soul with an all-sustaining, all-conquering energy. The Holy Spirit, by whom all spiritual blessings are bestowed, brings to the Christian just the strength which he needs, and teaches him to embrace it by faith. That faith may be weak; but its efficacy depends upon the reality — not the degree of our faith; and, therefore, if we sincerely trust in God, through Christ, we may assuredly expect that the aid which we look for, and for which we supplicate, will be granted us. Yet, while it is true that the smallest amount of true faith forms, so to speak, a channel through which God’s grace flows into our hearts, it is equally true that a stronger degree of faith is more honoring to God, while it would lead us to anticipate, and prepare us to receive, a far greater measure of Heavenly assistance than we now possess. “According to your faith,” says the Savior, “be it unto you;” and, therefore, if we desire to run without weariness, to walk without fainting, and to mount up with wings as eagles towards our rest above — we should make the request of his disciples our own, “Lord, increase our faith.”
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