(J. R. Miller, “The Beauty of Self-control”)
“Hold me up—and I shall be safe!” Psalm 119:117
Certain ancient mariners were accustomed to say, as
they put out to sea, “Keep me, O God, for my boat is
so small—and the ocean is so great and stormy!”
There could not be a fitter prayer for a Christian—as
he sets out in life. The world is vast and full of perils,
and a Christian, even the best, is very weak and frail.
He has no ability to face the difficulties, the obstacles,
the hardships he must face, if he is to pass successfully
through life. The world is large, and full of storm and
struggle—and only a few get through it safely.
If there were no one greater and stronger than ourselves,
into whose keeping we may commit our lives, as we go
out to meet the perils—what hope could we have of ever
getting through safely?
The Christian cannot guide himself. He cannot master the
storms. He cannot shelter himself. “Keep of me safe, O God,
for in You I take refuge!” (Psalm 16:1) should be his prayer,
Christ alone, is able to keep our lives. But does Jesus really
care for our little individual lives? Yes! The very thing that
Jesus does for us—is to be the keeper of our lives as we
pass through the world with its storms and dangers.
Christ alone, is able to guide us.
The world is a great mass
of tangled paths. They run everywhere, crossing each other
in all directions. Hands are forever beckoning us here and
there—and we know not which beckoning to follow. Even
friendship, loyal as it may be, sincere and sympathetic as
it is—lacks wisdom and may guide us mistakenly.
But there is One only whose wisdom is infallible, whose
advice never errs—and He is our Guide! There is a little
prayer in Psalm 143 which pleads: “Let the morning bring
me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in
You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up
my soul.” This prayer, if sincere, will always be answered.
“This is the way—walk in it.” if we seek divine guidance
and accept it implicitly—we shall always have it.
Not only do we have keeping and guidance in Christ—but
everything we need on the way—and then eternal blessedness!
We may commit our lives into His hands with absolute confidence.
He will take us with all our faults and our sins—and will keep us
from hurt in all the perils of the way. He will lead us in the right
path amid all the confusion and tangle—and then He will
bring us to glory!
“To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you
before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to
the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!!”
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