“And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered” -Joel 2:32
Why do I not call on His name? Why do I run to this neighbor and that when God is so near and will hear my faintest call? Why do I sit down and devise schemes and invent plans? Why not at once roll myself and my burden upon the Lord? Straightforward is the best runner–why do I not run at once to the living God? In vain shall I look for “deliverance anywhere else; but with God I shall find it; for here I have His royal “shall” to make it sure. I need not ask whether I may call on Him or not, for that word “Whosoever” is a very wide and comprehensive one. Whosoever means me, for it means anybody and everybody who calls upon God. I will therefore follow the leading of the text, and at once call upon the glorious Lord who has made so large a promise. My case is urgent, and I do not see how I am to be delivered; but this is no business of mine. He who makes the promise will find ways and means of keeping it. It is mine to obey His commands; it is not mine to direct His counsels. I am His servant, not His solicitor. I call upon Him, and He will deliver.
The Lord will go through with His covenant engagements. Whatever He takes in hand He will accomplish; hence past mercies are guarantees for the future and admirable reasons for continuing to cry unto Him. ~C. H. Spurgeon
“Show me wherefore Thou contendest with me” -Job 10:2
Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy graces. There are some of thy graces which would never have been discovered if it were not for the trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too oft like a glowworm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star–not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black folds in which God doth set the jewels of His children’s graces, to make them shine the better.
It was but a little while ago that, on thy knees, thou wast saying, “Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith.” Was not this really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?–for how canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy faith is exercised? Depend upon it. God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery; real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.
God trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers and climb mountains, and walk many a weary mile with heavy knapsacks on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not this the reason why He is contending with you? –C. H. Spurgeon
I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me -Habakkuk. 2: 1
There is no waiting on God for help, and there is no help from God, without watchful expectation on our part. If we ever fail to receive strength and defense from Him, it is because we are not on the outlook for it. Many a proffered succour from heaven goes past us, because we are not standing on our watch-tower to catch the far-off indications of its approach, and to fling open the gates of our heart for its entrance. He whose expectation does not lead him to be on the alert for its coming will get but little. Watch for God in the events of your life. The old homely proverb says: “They that watch for Providence will never want a providence to watch for,” and you may turn it the other way and say, “They that do not watch for providences will never have a providence to watch for.” Unless you put out your water-jars when it rains you will catch no water.
We want to be more business-like and use common sense with God in pleading promises. If you were to go to one of the banks, and see a man go in and out and lay a piece of paper on the table, and take it up again and nothing more–if he did that several times a day, I think there would soon be orders to keep the man out. Those men who come to the bank in earnest present their checks, they wait until they receive their gold, and then they go; but not without having transacted real business. They do not put the paper down, speak about the excellent signature, and discuss the excellent document; but they want their money for it, and they are not content without it. These are the people who are always welcome at the bank, and not triflers. Alas, a great many people play at praying. They do not expect God to give them an answer, and thus they are mere triflers. Our Heavenly Father would have us do real business with Him in our praying. –C. H. Spurgeon
And of Asher He said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be. -Deuteronomy 33:24-25
I am sorry, very sorry, for those among you who have no portion and lot in such a promise as this. Whatever you may have in this world, you are very poor in losing such a promise as this. You are shoeless, or if you have some wooden sabot, it will soon be worn out. You will never be able to travel to heaven in any shoes that mortal men can make for you. You need to go to the great Father, who alone can say, “Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.” I am sorry for you in your present condition, for you have no strength but your own, and that is a poor piece of weakness. You are troubled even now: what will you do in the swellings of Jordan? The common footmen of daily life have wearied you: what will you do when you have to contend with horses? O souls, what will you do when you are ushered into the presence of the dread mysteries of another world? O sirs, you are without strength; but is not that a grand verse, “When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly”? Ungodly as you are, clutch at such a word as that. “Without strength” as you are, yet lay hold upon the Lord’s strength. It is for those who have no strength that Christ came into the world. It is for the ungodly that He laid down His life. Come, and trust Him. Let Him become your strength and your righteousness from this time forth; and may He manifest Himself to you in a special and gracious way; and unto His name shall be praise, for ever and ever. Amen.~ C.H. Spurgeon
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
The children of God do find that, spiritually, their strength is renewed day by day. The outer man decayeth, that is nature: but the inward man is renewed day by day, that is grace. As thy days are, so shall thy strength continue to be. “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fail: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Though days come one after another, so shall strength come with them; there shall be such a continuity of perpetual renewal that the heart shall be strong even to the end of life, and the old man shall know no inward decay.
An hour or so ago, I stood by what will certainly be the death-bed of one of our best friends, and I was cheered and comforted when I heard him so blessedly speaking both of the present with its pain, and of the future with its near descent into the vale of death. He said, “I have no doubt as to my eternal bliss. I have had no doubt-no, not a shadow of doubt-of my interest in Christ through my long illness. In fact, I have felt a perfect rest of mind about it all. And,” he added, “this is nothing more than ought to be, with us who listen to the glorious gospel, for we live on good spiritual meat. Sound doctrine should make us strong in the Lord. I have not been a hearer of yours for thirty years, and heard of covenant love and faithfulness, to die with a trembling hope. I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him.” Thus, dear friends, shall we also be supported…Yes, as our days our strength shall be. – C.H. Spurgeon
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1
In proportion as He sends the trial He sends the help.
Our days vary, our trials change; our service varies, too. Our lives are far from being monotonous: they are musical with many notes and tones. Our present state is like chequered work: or, say, as a mosaic of many colours. But the strength that God gives varies with the occasion. He can bestow physical strength, and mental strength, and moral strength, and spiritual strength. He gives strength just where the strength is needed, and of that peculiar kind which the trial demands. We have no need to fear because we feel weak in a certain direction: if we need strength in that special quarter, the strength will come there. “But if I am tried,” says one, “in a certain way, I shall fail.” No, you will not. “As your days, so shall your strength be.” “I am horrified,” says one, “at the thought of having to pass through the ordeal of a surgical operation.” Do not be horrified at it; for though at the present moment you may be quite unfit for the trial, you will be quite ready for it when it comes. Have you never been in great danger and found yourself cool and calm beyond anything you could have expected? It has been so with me, and I have learned from my experience, not to measure what I shall be, in a trying hour, by what I happen to be just now. The Lord will take care to fit us for our future, and, as our days, so shall our strength be.
Be not, therefore, afraid of great trial: on the contrary, look for it, and when it comes, say to yourselves, “Now for great grace. Now for a special manifestation of the faithfulness of God.”~ C.H. Spurgeon