“He is faithful that promised” that “if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” To be living in the constant expectation of His return, to remember that it is a daily possibility, will serve to mold the Christian’s character and service, to the end “He may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” After He comes for us and we stand before the judgment seat of Christ for our rewards, there will be “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” back to this earth. Now, therefore, “the grace of God” is “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
Soon we shall go to meet the Lord; Perhaps He shall come today, To call us home to His glory, Who’ve trusted Him as the way.
For His own who are oppressed, who are crushed and afflicted under the weight of trials and burdens and failure, “the Lord … will be a refuge,” a defense, a strong tower into which we may flee for protection and succor. “In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us.” “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear.” With David, “when he fled from Saul in the cave,” we can pray, “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in Thee: yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast,” “for Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of trouble.” “The Lord is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge,” and “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” “O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction.” “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.”
The Lord’s a refuge for His saints, A tower to which we flee; Kept safe by His love and power, “More than conquerors” are we.
To be “forbearing” means to be “putting up with,” and here we who know the Lord are told to be “putting up with one another,” and that “with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering.” One who is orderly and systematized in his work and with his time must be “putting up with” one who is careless and unorganized. The neat one must be “forbearing” to the untidy one, the quiet one to the talkative one. “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” and we are not to try to fit everyone else into our own mold. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves,” and to “bear … one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” We are to suffer one another, endure one another, bear with one another, “forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
We can see the faults of others, But our own we do not see; Let us then take heed to ourselves, That we long-suffering be.
How gracious is the Lord to hide and cover and protect His own from dangers seen and unseen. “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.” “A Man [the God-Man, our Lord Jesus Christ] shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Thus He hides us and protects us, and though “we are troubled on every side, yet [we are] not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.” “Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.” “I flee unto Thee to hide me.”
He hides His own from troubles, From dangers we do not know, From the onslaughts of Satan, All because He loves us so.
“Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” How easy it is to let “the fear of man” influence our life and actions. “Do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” We are called as believers to “speak, not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words … nor of men sought we glory.” “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” “Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man,” and “when the Lord shall stretch out His hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is helped shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.” “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” “Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm. … Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.”
Man’s strength cannot prevail for us; The Lord alone can aid; His help is for the trusting heart, Whose cry to Him is made.
How comforting to the Christian is the knowledge that our God is sovereign and “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will,” “saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.” For “there is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord,” “for the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” He says that “there is none that can deliver out of My hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” “Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.” With Jehoshaphat we can say, “Art not Thou God in heaven, and rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee?” “The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations.” And “this God is our God forever and ever.”
God’s ways are always perfect, And His Word, it shall stand; He guards His own in trouble, When Satan doth withstand.
These words, spoken about our blessed Lord when He was falsely accused on trial before Pilate, ought to speak volumes to us who have been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ.” Isaiah had written in prophecy of Him that “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth,” “leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.” So often we speak when we should be silent, to our own hurt and to the dishonor of our Lord, for “in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” “A fool’s voice is known by multitude of words,” “and should a man full of talk be justified?” “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” For “he that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.” “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.”
Silent when falsely accused, Leaving our defense to Him, He “is my Rock … my Fortress, My Deliverer” from men.
God’s Word to His redeemed ones, those “whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered,” is that “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.” For “the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” So “lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” “Show me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.” “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” “Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” “The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.” “Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.” “If any man will do His will, he shall know.” “Neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.”
If we will do the will of God, He then will make it known; It is His joy to guide His saints; His love is with His own.
“As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” It is absolutely impossible for us to understand God’s Word by our human wisdom or ingenuity. It must be revealed and unfolded to us by the Holy Spirit, who indwells every true child of God, for He has “hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” For “where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” “But ye,” writes John “unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God,” “ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. … The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you … and … teacheth you of all things.” Our Lord promised that, upon His return to the Father, He would send the Spirit and that “when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth … and … He shall glorify Me,” for our Lord said that “the Scriptures … testify of Me.”
The Word of God is not revealed To those who are wise in this age; The truth comes to the humble heart, Who seeks Christ on the sacred page.
The believer who separates himself from all known evil, who heeds God’s admonition to “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God,” and who can truthfully say to the Lord that “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts,” that person will be a fruitful Christian, “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” For when we delight in and obey the Word of God, we are abiding in Christ, who said, “If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love,” and, “He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.” Our Lord further said, “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.”
Would you be fruitful for the Lord, And show Him forth each day? So that men might see and want Him, Who alone is the way?