Sweet encouragement

(James Smith, “Light for Dark Days” 1855)  Play Audio!  Download Audio

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows!” John 16:33

Every Christian should expect a daily cross,
something to try his graces,
render the promises necessary,
make the throne of grace desirable.

We are promised trouble in God’s Word,
all the saints have found trouble in this life,
trouble will be our portion to the end of our days.

Here on earth, we have no abiding city. Here we are but travelers and pilgrims–and must, therefore, expect that every day will furnish something new to make us hasten home.

This was David’s experience. He would never have prayed as he did, written as he did, or been useful as he has been–but for his trials! He found . . .
the Lord to be faithful,
grace to be sufficient, and
deliverance in the most suitable season.
Hence he says, “In the day of my trouble, I will call upon You; for You will answer me!” Psalm 86:17

Here is a gloomy anticipation: A “day of trouble.” The believer and trouble are seldom far apart, or long apart. We are born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards. Whichever way we look, we see a source of trouble!…


Here is a good purpose: “I will call upon You.”

The Lord kindly invites us to call upon Him in trouble, and promises that He will deliver us. Every trouble, rightly understood, is an invitation from the Lord to call upon Him! We are apt to get cold and indifferent, and then the Lord puts us into the furnace, which warms and quickens our hearts. Our best prayers have generally been offered up in times of trouble. In trouble, we feel that we must pray, or sink! Oh, what a mercy to have a God to go to, in every trouble! A God who invites, promises, and will bless us!The day of our trouble, should be a day of special prayer.
Trouble burdens the heart; prayer eases it;
disturbs the heart; prayer quiets it.
perplexes the heart; prayer guides it.

Here is sweet encouragement: “You will answer me.”
It is sweetly encouraging to know that God will . . .
listen to us,
sympathize with us,
and answer us,
in our many trials and sorrows.

We may argue the certainty of the Lord’s answering us, from His great mercy towards His children.
Divine mercy has . . .
a quick ear,
a piercing eye,
a tender heart,
a full hand, and
a swift foot!
When Mercy hears a poor sinner crying–she always attends, sympathizes with him, and answers. While God remains plenteous in mercy and delights in mercy–we need not fear a refusal to our prayers!

Even if the furnace should be heated seven times hotter, still we have His promise, “In the day of my trouble, I will call upon You; for You will answer me!

What sweet encouragement is here!

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