Your Commonest Trouble Will be Sympathized by Him

But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell Him of her. – Mark 1:30

The seaboard of Capernaum in which Peter dwelt is said by travelers to be a peculiarly damp, marshy, aguish, feverish place, no end of people had the fever just around the house; but Peter and Andrew did not argue that they must not tell the Lord because it was a common disease. Do not let Satan get an advantage over you by persuading you to keep back commonplace troubles or sins from your loving Lord. Beloved, if He counts the hairs of your heads, if not a sparrow falls to the ground without His knowledge, depend upon it your commonest trouble will be sympathized in by Him. “In all their afflictions He was afflicted.” It is a great mistake to think you may not carry to your Redeemer the ordinary trials of the day; tell Him, yea, tell Him all. If your child is only a common sinner, if there is no unusual depravity in him, if your son has never grieved you by perverseness, if your daughter has always been amiable and gentle, do not think there is no need to pray. If it is only a common case of the fever of sin, yet it will be deadly in the end unless a balm be found, therefore tell Jesus of it at once. Do not wait till your son becomes a prodigal, pray at once! Do not delay till your child is at death’s door, pray now!

Peter’s wife’s mother was attacked by no ordinary fever. We are told it was “a great fever”: the expression used implies that she was burning with fever; and she was intensely debilitated, for she was laid prostrate. Now the devil will sometimes insinuate, “It is of no use for you to take such a case to Jesus; your son has acted so shamefully, your daughter is so wilful: such a case will never yield to divine grace in answer to prayer.” Do not be held back by this wicked suggestion. Our Lord Jesus Christ can rebuke great fevers, and He can lift up those that are broken down and rendered powerless by raging sin. “Wonders of grace to God belong.” Go and tell Jesus of the case, common or uncommon, ordinary or extraordinary even as they told Jesus of her. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Tell Jesus of It

But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell Him of her. And He came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. – Mark 1:30,31

The four friends have come in, and no sooner are they in than they begin to speak with the Master, for the text tells us, “Anon they tell Him of her,”-of Peter’s wife’s mother who lay sick. I like that expression-I do not know whether you have noticed it-“Anon they tell Him of her.” Luke tells us “they besought Him.” I have no doubt Luke is right, but Mark is right too. “They tell Him of her.” It looks to me as if it taught me this-that sometimes all I may do with my sore affliction is just to tell my own dear Lord about it, and leave it to His loving judgment to act as He sees fit. Have you any temporal trouble or sickness in the house? Tell Jesus of it. Sometimes that is almost as much as you may do. You may beseech Him to heal that dear one, but you will have to say, “Not as I would, but as Thou wilt,” and so will feel that all you may do is to tell Jesus the case and leave it with Him. He is so gentle and loving, that He is sure to do the kindest thing, and the thing which is most right to do; therefore we may be content to “tell Him of her.” With regard to spiritual things, we may press and be very importunate, but with regard to temporal things, we must draw a line, and be satisfied when we have told Jesus and left the matter to His discretion. Some parents may, when their children are ill, plead with God in a way which shows more of nature then of grace, more clearly the affection of the mother than the resignation of the Christian; but such should not be the case. If we have committed our way unto the Lord in prayer, and meekly told Him of our crisis it will be our wisdom to be still, and watch till God the Lord shall speak. He cannot be either unjust or unkind, therefore should we say, “Let Him do what seemeth Him good.”

Tell Jesus Christ all about it; His view of the matter will be to your advantage.~ C.H. Spurgeon

Godly Work-fellows

Now as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him. – Mark 1:16-18

It is a great help to a man to find godly work-fellows. If he must needs go a-fishing like Peter, it is a grand thing to have a James and a John as one’s partners in the business. How helpful it is to piety when Christian men associate from day to day with their fellow Christians, and speak often one to another concerning the best things. Firebrands placed closely together will burn all the more freely, coals laid in a heap will glow and blaze, and so hearts touching hearts in divine things cause an inward burning and a sacred fervor seldom reached by those who walk alone. Many Christians are called to struggle hard for spiritual existence through having to work with unbelievers; they are not only sneered at and persecuted, but all sorts of doubts and blasphemies are suggested, and these materially hinder their growth in the heavenly life. When they are brought into this trial in the course of providence they have need of great grace to remain firm under it. Beloved brother, if in your daily business you meet with none to help but many to hinder, you must live all the nearer to God, for you require a double measure of grace; but if in the providence of God you happen to be placed where there are helpful Christian companions, do not readily change that position, even though your income would be doubled thereby. I would sooner work with James and John for twenty shillings a week than with swearers and drunkards for sixty. You who reside with really consistent Christians are much favored, and ought to become eminent Christians. You are like flowers in a conservatory, and you ought to bloom to perfection. You live in a lavender garden, and you ought to smell sweetly. Prove that you appreciate and rightly use your privileged position by endeavoring to bring grace to your house, that it may be altogether the Lord’s. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Yield to the Sovereignty of the Holy Ghost

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. – John 6:63

Religion, and the truth of it, is not to be learnt by the head. Years of reading, hours of assiduous study, will never make a man a Christian. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.” Oh! art thou destitute of the Spirit of the living God? For oh! I charge thee to remember this my hearer: if in thy soul mysterious and supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit has never been shed abroad, thou art an utter stranger to all the things of God. The promises are not thine; heaven is not thine, thou art on thy road to the land of the dead, to the region of the corpse, where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched. Oh that the Spirit of God may rest upon you now! Bethink you, you are absolutely dependent upon His influence. You are in God’s hand today to be saved or to be lost-not in your own hands, but in His. You are dead in sins; unless He quickens you, you must remain so. The moth beneath your finger is not more absolutely at your mercy than you are now at the mercy of God. Let Him but will to leave you as you are, and you are lost; but oh! if mercy speaks and says, “Let that man live,” you are saved. I would that you could feel the weight of this tremendous doctrine of sovereignty. It is like the hammer of Thor, it may shake your heart however stout it be, and make your rocky soul tremble to its base.

“Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown,
Hang on His firm decree.”

Yield to the sovereignty of the Holy Ghost; and He shall assuredly prove to you that, in that very yielding, there was a proof that He had loved you; for He made you yield; He made you willing to bow before Him in the day of His power. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Holy Ghost Teacheth Sovereignly

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth… – John 16:13

The Holy Ghost teaches sovereignly. He teaches whom He pleases. He takes the fool and makes him know the wonders of the dying love of Christ, to bring aspiring wisdom low and make the pride of man humble and abase itself. And as the Spirit teaches whom He wills, so He teaches when He wills. He has His own hours of instruction, and He will not be limited and bound by us. And then again He teaches as He wills-some by affliction, some by communion; some He teaches by the Word read, some by the Word spoken, some by neither, but directly by His own agency. And so also the Holy Spirit is a sovereign in that He teaches in whatever degree He pleases. He will make one man learn much, while another comprehends but little. Some Christians wear their beards early-they come to a rapid and high degree of maturity, and that on a sudden, while others creep but slowly to the goal and are very long in reaching it. Some Christians in early years understand more than others whose hairs have turned grey. The Holy Ghost is a sovereign. He does not have all His pupils in one class, and them all the same lesson by simultaneous instruction; but each man is in a separate class, each man learning a separate lesson. Some beginning at the end of the book, some at the beginning, and some in the middle-some learning one doctrine and some another, some going backwards and some forwards. The Holy Spirit teacheth sovereignly, and giveth to every man according as He wills, but then, wherever He teaches at all, He teaches effectually. He has never failed to make us learn yet…We instruct the ear, and the ear is far removed from the heart; He teaches the heart itself, and therefore His every word falleth upon good soil, and bringeth forth good and abundant fruit-He teaches effectually…Put thyself daily under His teaching, and thou shalt never learn a word amiss, nor a thought awry, but become infallibly taught, well taught in the whole truth as it is in Jesus.~ C.H. Spurgeon

We Must be Taught God

…He shall teach you all things… – John 14:26

God is to be heard in every wind, and seen in every cloud, but not all of God. God’s goodness, and God’s omnipotence, the world clearly manifesteth to us in the works of creation, but where do I read of His grace, where do I read of His mercy, or of His justice? There are lines which I cannot read in creation. Those must have ears indeed who can hear the notes of mercy or of grace whispering in the evening gale. No, brethren, these parts of God’s attributes are only revealed to us in this precious Book, and there they are so revealed that we cannot know them until the Spirit opens our eyes to perceive them. To know the inflexibility of Divine justice, and to see how God exacts punishment for every jot and tittle of sin, and yet to know that that full-justice does not eclipse His equally full-mercy, but that the two move around each other, without for a single instant coming into contact, or conflict, or casting the slighest shallow one or the other; to see how God is just and yet the justifier of the ungodly, and so to know God that my spirit loves His nature, appreciates His attributes, and desires to be like Him-this is a knowledge which astronomy cannot teach, which all the researches of the sciences can never give to us. We must be taught God, if we ever learn of Him-we must be taught God, by God the Holy Ghost. Oh that we may learn this lesson well, that we may be able to sing of His faithfulness, of His covenant love, of His immutability, of His boundless mercy, of His inflexible justice, that we may be able to talk to one another concerning that incomprehensible One, and may see Him even as a man seeth his friend; and may come to walk with Him as Enoch did all the days of our life. This, indeed, must be an education given to us by the Holy Ghost. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

He Convicts the Lost Man

And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. – John 16:8

The Spirit teaches us the total ruin, depravity, and helplessness of self. Men pretend to know this by nature, but they do not know it; they can only speak the words of experience as parrots speak like men. But to know myself utterly lost and ruined; to know myself so lost, “that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing,” is a knowledge so distasteful, so hateful, so abominable to the carnal intellect, that man would not learn it if he could, and if he hath learnt it, it is a clear proof that God the Holy Spirit has made him willing to see the truth, and willing to receive it. When we sometimes hear great preachers telling us that there is something grand left in man yet, that when Adam fell he might have broken his little finger, but did not ruin himself entirely, that man is a grand being, in fact a noble creature and that we are all wrong in telling men they are depraved, and thundering out the law of God at them-am I astonished that they should speak thus? Nay, my brethren, it is the language of the carnal mind the whole world over, and in every age. No wonder that a man is eloquent upon this point, every man needs to be eloquent when he has to defend a lie. No wonder that glorious sentences have been uttered, and flowery periods poured forth from a cornucopia of eloquence upon this subject. A man need exhaust all logic and all rhetoric to defend a-falsehood; and it is not a wonder that he seeks to do it, for man believes himself to be rich, and increased in goods, and to have need of nothing, till the Holy Ghost teaches him that he is naked, and poor, and miserable.

Your destiny hangs there now; and will you rebel against the God in whose hand your soul’s eternal fate now rests? Will you lift the puny hand of your rebellion against him who alone can quicken you-without whose gracious energy you are dead, and must be destroyed? Will you go this day and sin against light and against knowledge? …Obey the divine command, believe on Christ and live! Hear thou the voice of Jehovah, who cries, “This is the commandment, that ye believe in Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon