Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me

Monday, February 27, 2017

Unstaggering Trustfulness

Psalm 112:7  He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. 

Suspense is dreadful. When we have no news from home, we are apt to grow anxious, and we cannot be persuaded that "no news is good news." 

Faith is the cure for this condition of sadness;

The LORD by His Spirit settles the mind in holy serenity, and all fear is gone as to the future as well as the present.

The fixedness of heart spoken of by the psalmist is to be diligently sought after. 

It is not believing this or that promise of the LORD, but the general condition of unstaggering trustfulness in our God... 

The confidence which we have in Him that He will neither do us ill Himself nor suffer anyone else to harm us. 

This constant confidence meets the unknown as well as the known of life. 

Let the morrow be what it may, our God is the God of tomorrow. 

Whatever events may have happened, which to us are unknown, our Jehovah is God of the unknown as well as of the known. 

We are determined to trust the LORD, come what may. 

If the very worst should happen, our God is still the greatest and best.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, February 24, 2017

Grow In The Gloom

In one of my garden books there is a chapter with a very interesting heading, "Flowers that Grow in the Gloom."

It deals with those patches in a garden which never catch the sunlight.

And my guide tells me the sort of flowers which are not afraid of these dingy corners-may rather like them and flourish in them.

And there are similar things in the world of the spirit.

They come out when material circumstances become stern and severe.

They grow in the gloom.

How can we otherwise explain some of the experiences of the Apostle Paul ?

Here he is in captivity at Rome. The supreme mission of his life appears to be broken. 

But it is just in this besetting dinginess that flowers begin to show their faces in bright and fascinating glory.

He may have seen them before, growing in the open road, but never as they now appeared in incomparable strength and beauty.

Words of promise opened out their treasures as he had never seen them before.

Among those treasures were such wonderful things as the grace of Christ, the love of Christ, the joy and peace of Christ; 

And it seemed as though they needed an "encircling gloom" to draw out their secret and their inner glory.

At any rate the realm of gloom became the home of revelation, and Paul began to realize as never before the range and wealth of his spiritual inheritance.

Who has not known men and women who, when they arrive at seasons of gloom and solitude, put on strength and hopefulness like a robe?

You may imprison such folk where you please; but you shut up their treasure with them.

You cannot shut it out.

You may make their material lot a desert, but "the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose."

~Dr. Jowett~

Every flower, even the fairest, has its shadow beneath it as it swings in the sunlight.

Where there is much light there is much shade.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Little Foxes, And How To Catch Them!~Murmuring And Discontent

Each of the "little foxes" has its own peculiarity. There is something that distinguishes it from the rest.

If Selfishness is distinguished by the depth of the holes to which it retreats — then Murmuring is recognized by the peculiarly painful whine which it is constantly uttering.

You hear it almost a mile off. It falls upon the ear with a very grating, distressing sound.

I have heard it from a passer-by in the street, and I have heard it the moment I have entered a house.

Perhaps there may be some special trial, or things may be much as usual...but you still hear the old sound.

No one had ever so much to bear as I have!
It is a cold, bitter world, and it gets worse and worse!
I'm a slave to work, and there is no help for it!
I am the man who has seen affliction! Lamentations 3:1

In some shape like this, we often hear it, and it casts a gloom wherever it comes.

While now and then we meet with a joyful, happy spirit, who is always hoping things will mend, and sees "how much worse it might have been," and can find out a speck of blue sky in the darkest day...

There are too many, alas, who cover up their sweetest mercies beneath the bushel of fears and evil anticipations, and go on their way a misery to themselves and all about them.

I have in my mind two types of this evil. They were in very different positions in life, and their trials also were very diverse.

In one case, the trial which called forth this sin was doubtless very heavy.

A widow lady was left with an only son. He went to sea, and the vessel was lost, and she never saw him again. 

It was a terrible blow; but she nursed her sorrow and would take no comfort. 

She said God had dealt hardly with her, and she never could believe that He was a God of love.

Whatever was said to her as to God's gift of His own Son for our salvation, of His promise never to leave those who trusted in Him comfortless, it was all in vain.

She still continued repining and murmuring against God; and instead of her affliction being sanctified to her soul's profit, I fear it only led her to harden her heart against God.

The other case was a more ordinary one. It was a very old story.

A woman had a large family, but a sickly constitution, and her means were only just sufficient.

But her troubles were made a thousand-fold greater by the way she took them. 

You never saw a smile on her countenance, and you never heard her speak without complaining.

She would complain of her landlord, of her boys, her husband, her garden, and I know not what.

I knew her for years, and I think I never spoke to her but there was something of this kind. 

She buried herself in her troubles, and never looked at anything else.

So no wonder this fox of Discontent was always heard near her door.

This sin of murmuring and discontent has its root in the fallen nature of man. It tells of a wrong state of heart.

It springs from the will not being subdued to the will of God.

Men forget their own sinfulness, and that they receive far less of evil than their iniquities deserve.

They forget that, "God does according to His will in Heaven and in earth, and that He gives no account of any of His matters."

They forget that this world is not to be our Paradise, but a training school for one above.

They forget the constant mercies that a merciful Father is ever bestowing while they fix their eye on the sorrow or disappointment that has come upon them.

Often too, discontent arises from some special cause.

A man has set his heart on getting rich. All his aim and desire is to amass a fortune.

But he cannot succeed. Trade is bad, and orders do not come in. Few customers are seen at his counter, and he can only just pay his way.

Or, if his capital is invested in farming, perhaps the seasons are not good and the crops fall short. Then he murmurs.

He complains of trade or weather or whatever stands between him and success. 

If the love of money were not supreme, he would find it far easier to be content with his position: "Having food and clothing, he would be therewith content."

Or take another cause. A young person is very fond of change.

She has a good situation and a comfortable home...she has opportunities of self-improvement and a mistress who really cares for her welfare.

But she is unsettled and unhappy. Her life is too quiet...she wants more excitement. 

So she leaves her place and loses a good situation, and perhaps in a new one has temptations which lead her further and further from true peace.

Be sure that contentment can never be obtained by any change of place or circumstances.

I have heard of a rich man, in olden time, who had many country houses and used often to go from one to another.

When asked why he so often moved, he said it was to find contentment but as he never found it, he missed his aim.

I remember one morning I was just starting on a journey to see a village where I felt probably my lot might be cast for some years.

As the place was far from all old friends and in many ways a very lonely one, I was not very happy in the prospect.

But a Christian friend gave me a word that helped me, and I have never forgotten it.

It was a verse of one of Guyon's poems:

While place we seek or place we shun, The soul finds happiness in none;
But with our God to guide our way 'Tis equal joy to go or stay.

There is a great truth in these lines. True peace and contentment is not to be found in one spot or another. 

Neither is it to be found in the removal of a particular grievance, or in some additional means of comfort or happiness.

I am quite aware that many things may aggravate the burden of our discontent, and something now and then may be found to lighten it, but the true remedy lies deeper than in anything external.

Paul gives us two or three precious lessons as to the cure of discontent.

He reminds us that "we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."

It is all in vain to disturb our hearts with eagerness to grow rich. Such desire will pierce a man through with many sorrows. 

Nay, rather be satisfied with what is needful. Godliness is our true wealth.

It is a portion we can carry with us. As to the rest, let us leave it. "Having food and clothing, we will be content with that." (See 1 Timothy 6:6-10.)

Then, in another place, he gives us his own example, and the secret of it.

Few have had more to endure than he...few have had more privations.

He had often been "in cold and hunger and nakedness." He had often been homeless and friendless.

He had been exposed to the violence of bitter enemies, and to the fierce raging of the tempest.

He had been reviled and beaten and stoned, and often at the very gate of death.

But he had learned to take it patiently, yes, joyfully. He could truly say that he had learned "in whatever state he was, therewith to be content."

And how was this?

It was by leaning upon Christ. It was by looking to Him for grace and help.

It was by the inward might of His Spirit. It was by depending upon Him for strength continually.

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Then there is one other view which he gives of this subject. It is the great motive for contentment...the loving, unchangeable presence of Christ.

A motive which ought ever to weigh with every true believer.

If a child of the world asks me how he can be contented under the losses and trials that come to him, I confess that I find it difficult to answer him.

If you have not Christ and His love, I wonder how you can be contented.

You have no true peace in your soul, you have no blessed home waiting for you above; and all the happiness you ever get will be from the poor, fading pleasures of the world...and then darkness and gloom and death and damnation.

Your only path is to humble yourself as a sinner, and seek pardon and salvation at once through Christ.

But if you are Christ's, if you have His love in your heart, you may well be content.

You have His loving, unchangeable presence. You have His sure and faithful promise: "Be content with such things as you have: for He has said: I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5.)

Brother, sister in Christ, open your eyes and see the unsearchable riches stored up for you in this promise, and in all the promises assured to you in Him. 

You have the everlasting love of the great King. You have all your need supplied out of God's full bounty.

You have a clear title to an inheritance above. You have a horizon of bliss, that stretches out farther and farther...far out of mental sight.

Think of all this, and see if you have not reason to be content.

If a man loses a shilling, and gain a thousand pounds — ought he to grieve over the shilling he has lost?

If you find a poor man and give him what is needful for his present wants, and can assure him of a great property that belongs to him, and of which he will shortly come into possession...ought he to complain and murmur if for the present moment he has much to put up with?

And is not this but a faint parallel between the Christian's present trials and future prospects?

What are all present losses, troubles, sufferings, disappointments compared with the everlasting love of God, and the blessed portion it brings?

I would give the Christian one parting word in conclusion. If you want to be a happy, contented, praising Christian, keep near to Christ and receive much from Him.

If you want a bird in a cage to sing, you must give it plenty of fresh air, suitable food, and put it in the sunshine.

If you want the soul to sing with joyfulness and praise and thanksgiving, you must act in the same way.

Let there be the balmy air of heartfelt prayer and communion with God.

Let there be the wholesome food of the promises of God and the teachings of His Word.

Let there be the sunshine of Christ's presence and love.

Abide in His love...keep in the sunshine.

Watch against all unbelief, covetousness, and earthly care. So shall you ever be contented and at rest.

If cross winds blow, if earthly gourds wither, if pleasant streams dry up, if bright flowers fade, if all joys below prove as a passing will still find peace.

Looking up to Jesus, you will be able to leave all with Him.

If You should call me to resign  what most I never was mine!
I only yield You what was Thine;  May Your will be done! 

~George Everard~

Friday, February 17, 2017

God Can Make You Strong

God had done great things for King Asa and Judah, but yet they were a feeble folk.

Their feet were very tottering in the ways of the LORD, and their hearts very hesitating, so that they had to be warned that the LORD would be with them while they were with Him, but that if they forsook Him He would leave them. 

They were also reminded of the sister kingdom, how ill it fared in its rebellion and how the LORD was gracious to it when repentance was shown.

The LORD's design was to confirm them in His way and make them strong in righteousness. 

So ought it to be with us. God deserves to be served with all the energy of which we are capable.

If the service of God is worth anything, it is worth everything.

We shall find our best reward in the LORD's work if we do it with determined diligence. 

Our labor is not in vain in the LORD, and we know it.

Halfhearted work will bring no reward; but when we throw our whole soul into the cause, we shall see prosperity.

This text was sent to the author of these notes in a day of terrible storm, and it suggested to him to put on all steam, with the assurance of reaching port in safety with a glorious freight.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Rejoice In The LORD Through It All!

Php 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

It is a good thing to “rejoice in the Lord.”Perhaps you have tried it but seemed to fail at first.

Don’t give it a second thought, and forge ahead.

Even when you cannot feel any joy, there is no spring in your step, nor any comfort or encouragement in your life, continue to rejoice and “consider it pure joy”.

Jas 1:2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Whenever you face trials of many kinds regard it as joy,
delight in it,  and God will reward your faith.

Do you believe that your heavenly Father will let you carry the banner of His victory and joy to the very front of the battle, only to calmly withdraw to see you captured or beaten back by the enemy?


His Holy Spirit will sustain you in your bold advance and fill your heart with gladness and praise.

You will find that your heart is exhilarated and refreshed by the fullness within.

Lord, teach me to rejoice in “be joyful alway."

1Th 5:16  Rejoice evermore.


The weakest saint may Satan rout, Who meets him with a praiseful shout.

Be filled with the Spirit.

Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.

Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Eph 5:19  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

In these verses, the apostle Paul urges us to use singing as inspiration in our spiritual life.

He warns his readers to seek motivation not through the body but through the spirit, not by stimulating the flesh but by exalting the soul.

Sometimes a light surprises The Christian while he sings.

Let us sing even when we do not feel like it, for in this way we give wings to heavy feet and turn weariness into strength.

~John Henry Jowett~

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing
hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to

Act 16:25  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

O Paul, what a wonderful example you are to us!

You gloried in the fact that you “bear on [your] body the marks of Jesus”

Gal 6:17  From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

You bore the marks from nearly being stoned to death, from three times being “beaten with rods", from receiving 195 lashes from the Jews,and from being bloodily beaten in the Philippian jail.

2Co 11:25  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

Surely the grace that enabled you to sing praises while enduring such suffering is sufficient for us.

~J. Roach~

Oh, let us rejoice in the Lord, evermore, When darts of the Tempter are flying...

For Satan still dreads, as he oft did before, Our singing much more than our crying.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

"Sail On" In Faith

Joshua 3:13  And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.

The Israelite's were not to wait in the camp until the Jordan was opened but to “walk by faith”.

2Co 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight

They were to break camp, pack up their belongings, form a marching line, and actually step into the river before it would be opened.

If they had come down to the riverbank
and then stopped, waiting for the water to divide before stepping into it, they would have waited in vain.

They were told to “set foot in the Jordan” before “its waters will be cut off.”

We must learn to take God at His word and walk straight ahead in obedience, even when we can see no way to go forward.

The reason we are so often sidetracked by difficulties is that we expect to see barriers removed before we even try to pass through them.

If we would only move straight ahead in faith, the path would be opened for us.

But we stand still, waiting for the obstacle to be removed, when we ought to go forward as if there were no obstacles at all.

~From Evening Thoughts~

What a lesson Christopher Columbus taught the world - a lesson of perseverance in the face of tremendous difficulties!

Behind him lay the gray Azores, Behind the gates of Hercules;

Before him not the ghost of shores, Before him only shoreless seas.

The good Mate said: Now we must pray, For lo! the very stars are gone.

Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?

Why, say,‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’

My men grow mutinous day by day;

My men grow ghastly pale and weak!

The strong Mate thought of home; a spray Of salt wave washed his sunburned cheek.

What shall I say, brave Admiral, say, If we sight only seas at dawn?

Why, you shall say at break of day, Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!’

They sailed.They sailed.Then spoke the Mate: This mad sea shows its teeth tonight.

He curls his lip, he lies in wait, With lifted teeth, as if to bite!

Brave Admiral, say but one good word; What shall we do when hope is gone?

The words leapt like a leaping sword: Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!

Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck And peered through darkness.

Ah! that night Of all dark nights!

And then a speck...A light!

A light! A light! A light!

It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!

It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.

He gained a world; he gave that world Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”

~J. R. Miller~

Faith that goes forward triumphs.

Monday, February 6, 2017

He Has A Perfect Knowledge Of All His Subjects!

Oh, brethren, earthly kings and princes do not know all their subjects; nay, they know very few.

Alas! they do not know a quarter of them!

They are not acquainted with all the troubles, and needs, and miseries that their poor subjects lie under.

The Lord Jesus infinitely excels all other kings-in that He has a perfect knowledge of all His subjects!

He knows them all by name.

He knows all their thoughts, all their needs, all their ways, all their conditions.

So say I to you, brethren, Your King knows all your necessities, all your sufferings, all your troubles, all your fears!


Yes, and "My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus!".

Php 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Oh, this is a sweet Scripture!

Oh, poor souls, Christ knows everything about you!

This is our great happiness, that we have a King who knows us so well.

Oh, here is the excellency of our King!

~William Dyer~

The Lord thinks as much of one of His people-as if there were nobody else for Him to think upon!

Poor needy one, the Lord thinks upon you as intensely as if you were the only being now existing!


The Lord has such an infinite capacity, that each one of us may be the center of God's thoughts-and yet He will not be forgetting any other beloved one!

The Lord's tenderness and His care for His people, baffle all our thoughts and expectations!

1Pe 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Grow Up

Mal 4:2  But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Yes, when the sun shines, the sick quit their chambers and walk abroad to breathe the fresh air.

When the sun brings spring and summer, the cattle quit their stalls and seek pasture on the higher Alps.

Even thus, when we have conscious fellowship with our LORD, we leave the stall of despondency and walk abroad in the fields of holy confidence.

We ascend to the mountains of joy and feed on sweet pasturage which grows nearer heaven than the provender of carnal men.
To "go forth" and to "grow up" is a double promise.

O my soul, be thou eager to enjoy both blessings! 

Why shouldst thou be a prisoner?

Arise, and walk at liberty. 

Jesus saith that His sheep shall go in and out and find pasture; go forth, then, and feed in the rich meadows of boundless love.
Why remain a babe in grace?

Grow up.

Young calves grow fast, especially if they are stall fed; and thou hast the choice care of thy Redeemer.

Grow, then, in grace and in knowledge of thy LORD and Savior, Be neither straitened nor stunted. 

The Sun of Righteousness has risen upon thee Answer to His beams as the buds to the natural sun. 

Open thine heart; expand and grow up into Him in all things.

~Charles Spurgeon~