The Faith to Say, I Shall!

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness. – Psalm 17:15

“I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake up in thy likeness.” If some men should say so now, they would be called fanatics, and it would be considered presumption for any man to say, “I will behold thy face, I shall be satisfied;” and I think there are many now in this world who think it is quite impossible for a man to say to a certainty, “I know, I am sure, I am certain.” But, beloved, there are not one or two, but there are thousands and thousands of God’s people alive in this world who can say with an assured confidence, no more doubting of it than of their very existence, “I will behold thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied, when I awake in thy likeness.” It is possible, though perhaps not very easy, to attain to that high and eminent position wherein we can say no longer do I hope, but I know; no longer do I trust, but I am persuaded; I have a happy confidence; I am sure of it; I an certain; for God has so manifested himself to me that now it is no longer “if” and “perhaps” but it is positive, eternal, “shall.” “I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness.”

Oh! if ye are talking like that, ye must expect to have trouble, for God never gives strong faith without fiery trial; He will never give a man the power to say that “shall” without trying him; He will not build a strong ship without subjecting it to very mighty storms; He will not make you a mighty warrior, if he does not intend to try your skill in battle. God’s swords must be used; the old Toledo blades of heaven must be smitten against the armor of the evil one, and yet they shall not break, for they are of true Jerusalem metal, which shall never snap. Oh! what a happy thing to have that faith to say “I shall.” Some of you think it quite impossible, I know; but it “is the gift of God,” and whosoever asks it shall obtain it: and the very chief of sinners now present in this place may yet be able to say long before he comes to die, “I shall behold thy face in righteousness.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Our Most Merciful God

The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. -Psalm 145:9

This is God’s complaint against Ephraim. It is no mean proof of His goodness, that He stoops to rebuke His erring creatures; it is a great argument of His gracious disposition, that He bows His head to notice terrestrial affairs. He might, if He pleased, wrap Himself with might as with a garment; He might put the stars around His wrist for bracelets, and bind the suns around His brow for a coronet; He might dwell alone, far, far above this world, up in the seventh heaven, and look down with calm and silent indifference upon all the doings of His creatures; He might do as the heathens supposed their Jove did, sit in perpetual silence, sometimes nodding His awful head to make the fates move as He pleased, but never taking thought of the little things of earth, disposing of them as beneath His notice, engrossed with His own being, swallowed up within Himself, living alone and retired; and I, as one of His creatures, might stand by night upon a mountain-top, and look upon the silent stars and say, “Ye are the eyes of God, but ye look not down on me; your light is the gift of His omnipotence, but your rays are not smiles of love to me. God, the mighty Creator, has forgotten me; I am a despicable drop in the ocean of creation, a sear leaf in the forest of beings, an atom in the mountain of existence. He knows me not; I am alone, alone, alone.”

But it is not so, beloved. Our God is of another order. He notices every one of us; there is not a sparrow or a worm but is found in His decrees. There is not a person upon whom His eye is not fixed. Our most secret acts are known to Him. Whatsoever we do, or bear, or suffer, the eye of God still rests upon us, and we are beneath His smile-for we are His people; or beneath His frown-for we have erred from Him.

Oh! how ten-thousand-fold merciful is God, that, looking down upon the race of man, He does not smite it out of existence! ~ C.H. Spurgeon

False Professor: Have You Any Hope?

“Knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end?”-2 Samuel 2:26

If, O my reader! thou art merely a professor, and not a possessor of the faith that is in Christ Jesus, the following lines are a true ketch of thine end.

You are a respectable attendant at a place of worship; you go because others go, not because your heart is right with God. This is your beginning. I will suppose that for the next twenty or thirty years you will be spared to go on as you do now, professing religion by an outward attendance upon the means of grace, but having no heart in the matter. Tread softly, for I must show you the deathbed of such a one as yourself. Let us gaze upon him gently. A clammy sweat is on his brow, and he wakes up crying, “O God, it is hard to die. Did you send for my minister?” “Yes, he is coming.” The minister comes. “Sir, I fear that I am dying!” “Have you any hope?” “I cannot say that I have. I fear to stand before my God; oh! pray for me.” The prayer is offered for him with sincere earnestness, and the way of salvation is for the ten-thousandth time put before him, but before he has grasped the rope, I see him sink. I may put my finger upon those cold eyelids, for they will never see anything here again. But where is the man, and where are the man’s true eyes? It is written, “In hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.” Ah! why did he not lift up his eyes before? Because he was so accustomed to hear the gospel that his soul slept under it. Alas! if you should lift up your eyes there, how bitter will be your wailings. Let the Saviour’s own words reveal the woe: “Father Abraham, send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.” There is a frightful meaning in those words. May you never have to spell it out by the red light of Jehovah’s wrath! ~ C. H. Spurgeon


I Have Come Safe to Land

(F)or I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. -2 Timothy 1:12

There was an evil hour when I once shipped the anchor of my faith; I cut the cable of my belief; I no longer moored myself hard by the coasts of Revelation; I allowed my vessel to drift before the wind; I said to reason, “Be thou my captain;” I said to my own brain, “Be thou my rudder;” and I started on my mad voyage. Thank God, it is all over now; but I will tell you its brief history. It was one hurried sailing over the tempestuous ocean of free thought. I went on, and as I went, the skies began to darken; but to make up for that deficiency, the waters were brilliant with coruscations of brilliancy. I saw sparks flying upward that pleased me, and I thought, “If this be free thought, it is a happy thing.” My thoughts seemed gems, and I scattered stars with both my hands; but anon, instead of these coruscations of glory, I saw grim fiends, fierce and horrible, start up from the waters, and as I dashed on, they gnashed their teeth, and grinned upon me; they seized the prow of my ship and dragged me on, while, in part, gloried at the rapidity of my motion, but yet shuddered at the terrific rate with which I passed the old landmarks of my faith. As I hurried forward, with an awful speed, I began to doubt my very existence; I doubted if there were a world, I doubted if there was such a thing as myself. I went to the very verge of the dreary realms of unbelief. I went to the very bottom of the sea of Infidelity. I doubted everything. But here the devil foiled himself: for the very extravagance of the doubt, proved its absurdity. Just when I saw the bottom of that sea, there came a voice which said, “And can this doubt be true?” At this very thought I awoke. I started from that death-dream, which, God knows might have damned my soul, and ruined this, my body, if I had not awoke. When I arose, faith took the helm; from that moment I doubted not. Faith steered me back; faith cried, “Away, away!” I cast my anchor on Calvary; I lifted my eye to God; and here I am, “alive, and out of hell.”

Therefore, I speak what I do know. I have sailed that perilous voyage; I have come safe to land. Ask me again to be an infidel! No; I have tried it; it was sweet at first, but bitter afterwards. Now, lashed to God’s gospel more firmly than ever, standing as on a rock of adamant, I defy the arguments of hell to move me; for “I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Entirely Free From Envy

As for me, I will behold your face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness. -Psalm 17:15

Now, what should you think is the spirit of these words? “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”

(T)hey breathe the spirit of a man entirely free from envy. Notice, that the Psalmist has been speaking of the wicked. “They are enclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.” “They are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.” But David envies them not. “Go,” says he, “rich man, in all thy riches-go, proud man, in all thy pride-go, thou happy man, with thine abundance of children; I envy thee not; as for me, my lot is different: I can look on you without desiring to have your possessions. I can well keep that commandment, ‘Thou shalt not covet,’ for in your possessions there is nothing worth my love; I set no value upon your earthly treasures; I envy you not your heaps of glittering dust; for my Redeemer is mine.”

Oh! beloved, it is a happy thing to be free from envy…Envy is accursed of heaven; yea, it is Satan’s first-born-the vilest of vices… But give me freedom from envy; let me be content with what God has given me, let me say, “Ye may have yours, I will not envy you-I am satisfied with mine,” yea, give me such a love to my fellow creatures that I can rejoice in their joy, and the more they have the more glad I am of it. My candle will burn no less brightly because theirs outshines it. I can rejoice in their prosperity.

Envy! oh! may God deliver us from it! But how, in truth, can we get rid of it so well as by believing that ye have something that is not on earth, but in heaven? If we can look upon all the things in the world and say, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied by-and-bye!” I look upon the low places of this earth with contempt. I envy not your greatness, ye mighty emperors; I desire not your fame, ye mighty warriors; I ask not for wealth, O Croesus; I beg not for thy power, O Caesar; as for me, I have something else, my portion is the Lord.” The text breathes the spirit of a man free from envy. May God give that to us! ~ C.H. Spurgeon

As For Me

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”- Psalm 17:15

It would be difficult to say to which the gospel owes most, to its friends or to its enemies. It is true, that by the help of God, its friends have done much for it; they have preached it in foreign lands, they have dared death, they have laughed to scorn the terrors of the grave, they have ventured all things for Christ, and so have glorified the doctrine they believed; but the enemies of Christ, unwittingly, have done no little, for when they have persecuted Christ’s servants, they have scattered them abroad, so that they have gone everywhere preaching the Word…

So with the book of Psalms: had not David been sorely tried by enemies, had not the foemen shot their arrows at him, had they not attempted to malign and blast his character, had they not deeply distressed him, and made him cry out in misery, we should have missed many of those precious experimental utterances we here find, much of that holy song which he penned after his deliverance, and very much of that glorious statement of his trust in the infallible God… Had it not been for David’s enemies, he would not have penned his Psalms; but when hunted like a partridge on the mountains, when driven like the timid roe before the hunter’s dogs, he waited for awhile, bathed his sides in the brooks of Siloa, and panting on the hill-top a little, he breathed the air of heaven and stood and rested his weary limbs. Then was it that he gave honour to God, then he shouted aloud to that mighty Jehovah, who for him had gotten the victory… “As for me,” says the once shepherd boy, who was soon to wear a royal diadem-“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness, I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness.”~ C.H. Spurgeon