“He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.” Psalm 107:7
The believer is as much to live upon the grace and power of Christ for the subduing of sin–as upon the blood and righteousness of Christ for the pardon and removal of the guilt and condemnation of sin.
Beloved, the same Jehovah has undertaken to guide you through this waste howling wilderness, up into the city prepared for you by God! His dispensations with us are varied, but always suited to our needs.
Some of His dispensations are dark; others are light.
While Some are cloudy; others are luminous.
Some are adapted for the day, when light streams around us; others are adapted for the night, when darkness enshrouds us.
Both are essential to our right way to Heaven.
Not by blind chance, or human forethought, or creature sagacity–are we homeward led, but:
by an Eye that never slumbers,
a Hand that never wearies,
by a Mind that never errs,
a Heart that never chills, and
by a Presence that never for a moment leaves our side!
Thus the Lord your God is guiding you.
By Him who loves you:
the hairs of your head are numbered,
your steps are led,
difficulties are overcome,
foes are vanquished,
needs are supplied,
sorrows are soothed!
Your heavenly Father, whose kind and merciful providence spreads its cloud-veil over you by day, kindles its fire-light around you by night.
Ah! how beneficently has He arranged it all!
He has most wisely and exquisitely balanced and harmonized our history.
Joy and sorrow,
toil and rest,
defeat and victory,
the wounding and healing,
casting-down and lifting-up
–each acting and reacting upon the other, and both working together for our good!
The cloud of sadness, subdues and softens the light of joy.
The sunshine of joy, illumines and warms the chill cloud of sadness.
Just so, He is leading us by the right way home to Himself.
Beneath the culture of His hand:
what blessings spring from our trials,
while joy springs from our sorrows,
wealth springs from our losses,
lovely flowers and sweet fruit of holiness bloom and grow upon the thorn and the thistle of the wise and wholesome discipline by which our God is fitting us for Heaven!
Because Afflictions lift the soul nearer to God, as the flood lifted the ark nearer to Heaven. As the waters rose, the ark rose still higher. And thus the flood that saved the Church–drowned the world!
With His people, God’s afflictions are loving and parental.
But With His enemies, God’s afflictions are judicial and punitive.
Therefore God places His saints in the furnace, for purification.
But He places the ungodly in the furnace, for destruction.
The calamity that saves the godly, is often the ruin of the ungodly!
The affliction which is as a loadstone drawing the holy nearer to Christ–is as a millstone round the neck of the unholy, sinking them deeper into Hell!
“My times are in Your hand!” Psalm 31:15
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