His Saving Health for the Sin-Sick

The people which sat in darkness saw a great light… – Matthew 4:16

It is said next that they “sat in darkness.” Matthew did not quote from Isaiah correctly; I think he purposely alters it. Isaiah speaks, in his ninth chapter, of a people that “walked in darkness;” but here the evangelist speaks of a people who “sat in darkness.” That is a state of less hopefulness. The man who walks is active, he has some energy left, and may reach a brighter spot; but a man sitting down is inactive, and will probably abide where he is. “The people that sat in darkness”-as if they had been there a long while, and would be there longer yet. They sat as though they had been turned to stone. They “sat in darkness,” probably through despair; they had, after a fashion, striven for the light, but had not found it, and so they gave up all hope. Their disappointed hearts told them that they might as well spare those fruitless efforts, and therefore down they sat with the stolidity of hopelessness. Why should they make any more exertion? If God would not hear their prayers, why should they pray any longer?…They said, “What matters it, since there is no hope for us? Let it be as fate appoints, we will sit still, we will neither cry nor pray.” How many have I met with who are not only thus in darkness, but are half-content to dare the terrible future, and sullenly to wait till the storm-cloud of wrath shall burst over them. It is a most sad and wretched condition, but what a blessing it is that this day we have a gospel to preach to such…The fact is that when a man is sin-sick, his soul abhorreth all manner of meat, and unless the Beloved Physician shall interpose, he will die of famine with the Bread of Life spread out before him. Dear friends, may the Lord visit you with His saving health, and give to the saddest of you joy and peace in believing. ~ C.H. Spurgeon




Himself the Reigning God is Our Savior

…for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful. – Revelation 17:14

He in whom you are asked to believe for salvation is Himself God. Then, in infinite mercy, He came and took upon Himself our nature, and dwelt among men. He voluntarily came,-being God,-but He was also sent of God, appointed and authorized to be God’s Ambassador to man. He was, in addition to being sent of God, anointed of God, for the Spirit of God rested upon Him without measure, qualifying Him for His work…Then He died, and by that death He forever put away the sin of His people. He took upon Himself the sin which He had never committed; He was numbered with the transgressors, and He suffered as if men’s transgressions had been His own; He died, “the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” And God has accepted those sufferings as a propitiation for all who believe in Him; and now, this is the witness of God concerning Him, that He has raised Him from the dead, and taken Him up to His throne, and made Him to sit there, at His Father’s right hand, where, at this moment, He is making intercession for all who come unto God by Him. And, now, our prayers are accepted through Him; and the infinite blessings, which are His, He distributes among us; and He is shortly coming again, with sound of trumpet, and attended by myriads of saints and angels. As He ascended from Olivet, in like manner also will He descend to earth again. King of kings and Lord of lords shall He be in that day…He is God, He still lives, it is the living, reigning Christ whom we preach unto you. He lives in glory, and He also lives here by the presence of His Holy Spirit, who is with us, and who is to abide with us evermore; and it is upon Him as God incarnate, as Savior, crucified, risen, and gone into the glory, that you are asked to place your soul’s confidence. If you would learn this truth more fully, read the four Gospels, and the Epistles, and ask the Spirit, who inspired the writers of them, to explain and apply them to you. That is the way to obtain faith. True faith is based upon knowledge of Christ…Take care, dear friends, that you always remember that simple but important truth.~ C.H. Spurgeon


Let the Lord Do As He Wills

Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick…When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was. – John 11:3, 6

No doubt when Mary and Martha sent to tell Jesus they looked to see Lazarus recover as soon as the messenger reached the Master; but they were not gratified. For two days the Lord remained in the same place, and not till He knew that Lazarus was dead did He speak of going to Judea. This teaches us that Jesus may be informed of our trouble, and yet may act as if He were indifferent to it. We must not expect in every case that prayer for recovery will be answered, for if so, nobody would die who had chick or child, friend or acquaintance to pray for him. In our prayers for the lives of beloved children of God we must not forget that there is one prayer which may be crossing ours, for Jesus prays, “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory.” We pray that they may remain with us, but when we recognize that Jesus wants them above, what can we do but admit His larger claim and say, “Not as I will, but as Thou wilt”? In our own case, we may pray the Lord to raise us up, and yet though He loves us He may permit us to grow worse and worse, and at last to die. Hezekiah had fifteen years added to his life, but we may not gain the reprieve of a single day. Never set such store by the life of any one dear to you, or even by your own life, as to be rebellious against the Lord. If you hold the life of any dear one with too tight a hand, you are making a rod for your own back; and if you love your own earthly life too well, you are making a thorny pillow for your dying bed. Children are often idols, and in such cases their too ardent lovers are idolaters. We might as well make a god of clay, and worship it, as the Hindus are said to do, as worship our fellow-creatures, for what are they but clay? Shall dust be so dear to us that we quarrel with our God about it? If our Lord leaves us to suffer, let us not repine. He must do that for us which is kindest and best, for He loves us better than we love ourselves. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Say, “This is my sin.”

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.” -Mark 9:24

With tears he said, “Lord, I believe,” and then acknowledged his unbelief. Learn then, dear hearer, always to look at unbelief in Christ in the light of a fault. Never say, “This is my infirmity,” but say, “This is my sin.” There has been too much in the Church of God of regarding unbelief as though it were a calamity commanding sympathy, rather than a fault demanding censure as well. I am not to say to myself, “I am unbelieving, and therefore I am to be pitied.” No, “I am unbelieving, and therefore I must blame myself for it.” Why should I disbelieve my God? How dare I doubt Him who cannot lie? How can I mistrust the faithful promiser who has added to His promise His oath, and over and above His promise and His oath has given His own blood as a seal, that by two immutable things, wherein it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation. Chide yourselves, ye doubters. Doubts are among the worst enemies of your souls. Do not entertain them. Do not treat them as though they were poor forlorn travelers to be hospitably entertained, but as rogues and vagabonds to be chased from thy door. Fight them, slay them, and pray God to help thee to kill them, and bury them, and not even to leave a bone or a piece of a bone of a doubt above ground. Doubting and unbelief are to be abhorred, and to be confessed with tears as sins before God. We need pardon for doubting as much as for blasphemy. We ought no more to excuse doubting than lying, for doubting slanders God and makes Him a liar.~ C.H. Spurgeon


Tried with Unbelief

We have transgressed and have rebelled: Thou hast not pardoned. -Lamentations 3:42

..help Thou mine unbelief -Mark 9:24

There are many true believers who at the first are tried with unbelief, because they have now, more than ever they had before, a sense of their past sins. Many a man receives a far deeper sense of sin after he is forgiven than he ever had before. The light of the law is but moonlight compared with the light of the gospel, which is the light of the sun. Love makes sin to become exceeding sinful.

“My Sins, my Sins, my Savior!
How sad on thee they fall;
Seen through thy gentle patience,
I tenfold feel them all.

I know they are forgiven,
But still their pain to me
Is all the grief and anguish
They laid, my Lord, on thee.”

The light of the promise gleaming in the soul reveals the infinite abyss of horror which lies in indwelling sin. In the light of God’s countenance we discover the filthiness, the abomination, the detestable ingratitude of our past conduct. We loathe ourselves in our own sight. While we bless God that sin is pardoned, we are staggered to think it should have been such sin as it is, and the natural feeling resulting from our discovery is a fear that we cannot be pardoned. We ask ourselves, can it be that such sins are forgiven?

Oh, that we could blot out those evil days! We have said, “Cursed be the sun that it rose on such a day as that in which I so defiled myself with iniquity.” Thus, under a sense of sin, though there is the belief that we are pardoned, there may also arise the unbelief against which we need the Lord to help us.”Lord, help Thou mine unbelief!” ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Trembling Faith

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.”-Mark 9:24.

When a man first lays hold upon Jesus he is very apt to be in distress if his joy be not always at its full height; he is untrained in spiritual conflict, and easily dismayed; the tremor of his former conviction is upon him, and he is prone to relapse into it. The light which he has received fills him with intense delight, but it is not very clear and abiding; he sees men as trees walking, and is ready to conjure up a thousand fears. The weakness of newborn faith, therefore, calls for the compassion of all who love the souls of men. In addition to their own weakness they are liable to special dangers, for at such times Satan is frequently very active. No king will willingly lose his subjects, and the Prince of Darkness labors to bring back those who have just escaped over the confines of his dominion. If souls are never tried afterwards, they are pretty sure to be assailed on their outset from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Bunyan very wisely placed the Slough of Despond at the very commencement of the spiritual journey. The cowardly fiend of hell assails the weak, because he would put an end to them before they get strong enough to do mischief to his kingdom. Like Pharaoh, he would destroy the little ones. He seeks, if possible, to beat out of them every comfortable hope, so that their trembling faith may utterly perish.

Learn from this that a measure of doubt is consistent with saving faith; that weak faith is true faith, and a trembling faith will save the soul. If thou believest, even though thou be compelled to say, “Help Thou mine unbelief,” yet that faith makes thee whole, and thou art justified before God.  ~ C.H. Spurgeon



Our Good Father’s Love

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. -Galatians 4:6

When I was racked some months ago with pain, to an extreme degree, so that I could no longer bear it without crying out, I asked all to go from the room, and leave me alone; and then I had nothing I could say to God but this, “Thou art my Father and I am Thy child; and Thou, as a Father, art tender and full of mercy. I could not bear to see my child suffer as Thou makest me suffer, and if I saw him tormented as I am now, I would do what I ‘could to help him, and put my arms under him to sustain him. Wilt Thou hide Thy face from me, my Father? Wilt Thou still lay on a heavy hand, and not give me a smile from Thy countenance?” I held the Lord to that. I talked to Him as Luther would have done, and pleaded His Fatherhood in right down earnest. “Like as a father pitieth his children, even so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” If He be a Father, let Him show Himself a Father-so I pleaded, and I ventured to say, when I was quiet, and they came back who watched me: “I shall never have such pain again from this moment, for God has heard my prayer.” I bless God that ease came and the racking pain never returned. Faith mastered the pain by laying hold upon God in His own revealed character, that character in which in our darkest hour we are best able to appreciate Him. I think that is why that prayer, “Our Father which art in heaven,” is given to us, because, when we are lowest, we can still say, “Our Father,” and when it is very dark, and we are very weak, our childlike appeal can go up, “Father, help me! Father rescue me!” ~ C.H. Spurgeon