10. The Word of Comfort

 •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 6
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With mercy and with judgment
My web of time He wove,
And aye the dews of sorrow
Were lustered with His love.
I’ll bless the hand that guided,
I’ll bless the heart that plann’d,
When throned where glory dwelleth
In Immanuel’s land.
Courage! up your heart! When ye do tire, He will bear both you and your burden. Yet a little while and ye shall see the salvation of God.
Ye cannot, ye must not, have a more pleasant or more easy condition here, than He had, who through afflictions was made perfect. We may indeed think, Cannot God bring us to heaven with ease and prosperity? Who doubteth but He can? But His infinite wisdom thinketh and decreeth the contrary; and we cannot see a reason for it, yet He hath a most just reason. We never with our eyes saw our own soul; yet we have a soul. We see many rivers, but we know not their first spring and original fountain; yet they have a beginning.... When ye are come to the other side of the water, and have set down your foot on the shore of glorious eternity, and look back again to the waters and to your wearisome journey, and shall see, in that clear glass of endless glory, nearer to the bottom of God’s wisdom, ye shall then be forced to say, “If God had done otherwise with me than He hath done, I had never come to the enjoying of this crown of glory.”... Whether God come to His children with a rod or a crown, if He come Himself with it, it is well. Welcome, welcome, Jesus, what way soever Thou come, if we can get a sight of Thee.
Till He take His children out of the furnace that knoweth how long they should be tried, there is no deliverance; but after God’s highest and fullest tide, that the sea of trouble is gone over the souls of His children, then comes the gracious long-hoped-for ebbing and drying up of the waters.... Do not faint; the wicked may hold the bitter cup to your head, but God mixeth it, and there is no poison in it. They strike, but God moves the rod; Shimei curseth, but it is because the Lord bids him.
Ere it be long, our Master will be at us, and bring this whole world out, before the sun and daylight, in their blacks and whites. Happy are they who are found watching. Our sand glass is not so long as we need to weary; time will eat away and root out our woes and sorrow. Our heaven is in the bud, and growing up to an harvest. Why, then, should we not follow on, seeing that our span-length of time will come to an inch? Therefore I commend Christ to you, as the staff of your old age. Let Him now have the rest of your days. And think not much of a storm upon the ship that Christ saileth in: there shall no passenger fall over board, but the crazed ship and the seasick passenger shall come to land safe.
I long to know how matters stand betwixt Christ and your soul. I know that ye find Him still the longer the better: time cannot change Him in His love. Ye may yourself ebb and flow, rise and fall, wax and wane; but your Lord is this day as He was yesterday. And it is your comfort that your salvation is not rolled upon wheels of your own making, neither have ye to do with a Christ of your own shaping. God hath singled out a Mediator strong and mighty: if ye and your burdens were as heavy as ten hills or hells, He is able to bear you, and save you to the uttermost. Your often seeking to Him cannot make you a burden to Him. I know that Christ compassionateth you, and maketh a moan for you, in all your dumps, and under your down-castings; but it is good for you that He hideth Himself sometimes. It is not niceness, dryness, nor coldness of love, that causeth Christ to withdraw, that ye cannot see Him; but He knoweth that ye could not bear with upsails, a fair gale, a full moon, and a high springtide of His felt love, and always a fair summer day and a summer sun of a felt and possessed and embracing Lord Jesus.... He could not let out His rivers of love upon His own, but these rivers would be in hazard of loosening a young plant at the root.... Ye should, therefore, frist1 Christ’s kindness, as to its sensible and full manifestations, till ye and He be above sun and moon. That is the country where ye will be enlarged for that love which ye dow2 not now contain.... Lighten your heart by laying your all upon Him.
Faint not, because this world and ye are at yea and nay, and because this is not a home that laugheth upon you. The wise Lord, who knoweth you, will have it so, because He casteth a net for your love, to catch it and gather it in to Himself. Therefore, bear patiently the loss of children, and burdens, and other discontentments, either within or without the house: your Lord in them is seeking you, and seek ye Him. Let none be your love and choice, and the flower of your delights, but your Lord Jesus. Set not your heart upon the world, since God hath not made it your portion; for it will not fall to you to get two portions, and to rejoice twice, and to be happy twice, and to have an upper heaven, and an under heaven too.
Weary not, but come in and see if there be not more in Christ than the tongue of men and angels can express. If ye seek a gate to heaven, the way is in Him, or He is it. What ye want is treasured up in Jesus; and He saith, all His are yours.
Your life is hid with Christ in God, and therefore ye cannot be robbed of it. Our Lord handleth us, as fathers do their young children; they lay up jewels in a place, above the reach of the short arms of bairns, else bairns would put up their hands and take them down, and lose them soon. So hath our Lord done with our spiritual life. Jesus Christ is the high coffer in the which our Lord hath hid our life; we children are not able to reach up our arm so high as to take down that life and lose it; it is in our Christ’s hand.... So long as this life is not hurt, all other troubles are but touches in the heel.
Let us not weary: the miles to that land are fewer and shorter than when we first believed. Strangers are not wise to quarrel with their host, and complain of their lodging. It is a foul way but a fair home.... The hope of it in the end is a heartsome convoy in the way.
There is a rest for the people of God. Christ possesseth it now one thousand six hundred years before many of His members; but it weareth not out.
The saints know not the length and largeness of the sweet earnest, and of the sweet green sheaves before the harvest, that might be had on this side of the water, if we would take more pains.... We all go to heaven with less earnest, and lighter purses of the hoped-for sum, than otherwise we might do, if we took more pains to win further in upon Christ, in this pilgrimage of our absence from Him.
Oh that every hair of my head, and every member and every bone in my body, were a man to witness a fair confession for Him! I would think all too little for Him. When I look over beyond the line, and beyond death, to the laughing side of the world, I triumph, and ride upon the high places of Jacob; howbeit otherwise I am faint, dead-hearted, cowardly man, oft borne down, and hungry in waiting for the marriage supper of the Lamb. Nevertheless, I think it the Lord’s wise love that feeds us with hunger, and makes us fat with wants and desertions.
We are fallen in winnowing and trying times. I am glad that your breath serveth you to run to the end, in the same condition and way wherein ye have walked these twenty years past. It is either the way of peace, or we are yet in our sins, and have missed the way. The Lord, it is true, hath stained the pride of all our glory; and now, last of all, the sun hath gone down upon many of the prophets. But stumble not; men are but men, and God appeareth more and more to be God, and Christ is still Christ.... A stronger than I am had almost stumbled me and cast me down. But oh what mercy is it to discern between what is Christ’s and what is man’s, and what way the hue, color, and luster of gifts of grace dazzle and deceive our weak eyes! Oh to be dead to all things that are below Christ, were it even a created heaven and created grace! Holiness is not Christ; nor are the blossoms and flowers of the Tree of Life the tree itself. Men and creatures may wind themselves between us and Christ; and, therefore, the Lord hath done much to take out of the way all betwixt Him and us.... The fairest things, and most eminent in Britain, are stained, and have lost their luster; only, only Christ keepeth His greenness and beauty, and remaineth what He was. Oh, if He were more and more excellent to our apprehensions than ever He was (whose excellency is above all apprehensions), and still more and more sweet to our taste! I care for nothing, if so be that I were nearer to Him. And yet He fleeth not from me: I flee from Him, but He pursueth.
The scarcity of faith in the earth saith, “We are hard upon the last nick of time”: blessed are those who keep their garments clean against the Bridegroom’s coming.
Make you ready to meet the Lord; and rest and sleep in the love of that Fairest among the sons of men. Desire Christ’s beauty. Give out all your love to Him, and let none fall by. Learn in prayer to speak to Him.
The Lord hath told you what ye should be doing till He come. “Wait and hasten,” saith Peter, “for the coming of our Lord.” All is night that is here, in respect of ignorance and daily ensuing troubles, one always making way to another, as the ninth wave of the sea to the tenth; therefore sigh and long for the dawning of that morning, and the breaking of that day of the coming of the Son of Man, when the shadows shall flee away. Persuade yourself the King is coming; read His letter sent before Him, “Behold, I come quickly.” Wait with the wearied night watch for the breaking of the eastern sky, and think that ye have not a morrow. As the wise father said, who, being invited against tomorrow to dine with his friend, answered, “These many days I have had no morrow at all.”
1. To put off for a time.
2. Can.