(James Smith, “The Believer’s Companion in Seasons of Afflictions and Trouble” 1842)
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“Call upon Me in the day of trouble! I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me!” Psalm 50:15
Believer, in this portion of the divine word, you will discover:
1. your present portion, trouble,
2. your constant privilege, prayer,
3. your future prospect, deliverance.
1. Your present portion is TROUBLE. You must expect trouble, and will certainly be deceived if you expect to escape it. Sin is the parent of trouble, and our sin-cursed earth its fruitful soil. Trouble springs up all around us, and appears in an almost infinite variety of forms.
Every connection we form,
character we bear,
office we fill, and
every relation we sustain,
is a fruitful source of trouble!
We shall have . . .
trouble in mind,
trouble from almost every quarter!
This poor world is not our rest, for it is polluted!
It is not our home, for we are poor pilgrims!
Ant not our country, for we are strangers and aliens!
Every day has its peculiar troubles. Often when we look for a certain comfort, we only find peculiar distress and vexation! Everything declares, “Happiness is not in me!” You may look on the right hand, but you will find no permanent peace; and on the left hand, disappointment awaits you. Only in Jesus is . . .
holy satisfaction, and
permanent comfort to be found.
If we could rightly interpret the various voices around us, we would find them all saying: “Go to Jesus! Abide in Jesus! Derive all from Jesus–or be wretched, miserable, and disappointed!” …
Troubles and trials follow each other, at times, almost like Job’s messengers treading on each other’s heels, and we are almost overwhelmed! But,
2. Your constant privilege is PRAYER,
to visit the throne of grace, and wait upon our God. He says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble!” Troubles . . .
furnish us with messages to our Father’s throne,
quicken us in our supplications, and
oblige us to entreat His favor!
His throne of grace is always accessible, and His ear is always open; but in times of trouble, He especially invites us to draw near. He says:
Are you perplexed, call for wisdom;
weak, call for strength;
guilty, call for pardon;
miserable, call for comfort;
in darkness, call for light;
in bondage, call for freedom and relief.
Call upon Me, for I am always on the throne of grace!
I am glad to see you;
ready to help you;
I wait to be gracious unto you!
Call upon Me first–before you run to others!
You will have no occasion to go anywhere else, for I have all that you possibly can need.
Call upon Me freely, without reserve;
boldly, without fear or doubt!
The promise encourages us,
invitation allures us, but
trouble impels us to call upon our God!
Our troubles are frequently the instruments the Holy Spirit employs to carry on His sacred work in our hearts. By troubles, He . . .
empties us of self,
weans us from the world, and
endears Jesus and His salvation to us!
Oh, believer, make use of your privilege in every time of trouble–and fully expect what Your God has promised!
3. Your future prospect is DELIVERANCE.
The prospect is opened up, “I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me!” Here God comes under engagement to deliver His calling child. Only let us beware lest we dictate to God as to time, means, or manner of deliverance–and then we cannot be too certain. He will deliver, and in such a way as to . . .
put honor on your faith,
pour confusion on your unbelief, and
secure the glory to His blessed self!…
“I WILL!”–this promise is . . .
more durable than earth,
more stable as the pillars of Heaven,
and as changeless as the nature of Jehovah.
“I will DELIVER!”–this is at once . . .
the food, and plea of faith,
lattice through which hope directs the eye, and
prime argument which the soul uses before God.
“I will deliver YOU!”–this is the laying of God’s hand on His needy child.
My poor brother, are you in trouble? Are you calling upon God? The Lord says, “I will deliver YOU!” You are the person God had in His eye and in His heart, when he caused this precious portion to be penned. Take up the language, and say, “He will deliver ME!” And you, being delivered, proving God to be faithful, realizing the power of prayer, and enjoying delivering mercy–shall, though Satan will try to hinder, and unbelief would gladly shut your mouth–you shall glorify Me!
How truly blessed, pleasant, satisfactory is this! Every believer must say: “It is just as I would have it! I get all the mercy, and God gets all the glory!“
Brethren in Jesus . . .
expect your portion, troubles,
prize your privilege, prayer, and
look forward to your prospect, deliverance!
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