Christ: the Faithful and True

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 5
How are you this morning, William?" " Very poorly; I've had a bad nicht; an' a' thegither I'm unco dune." "But I hope you have had Jesus with you, William, giving you 'songs in the night.'"
The old man was silent for a few moments '. then his eyes moistened as he replied. "I'm wonderfu' dark-wonderfu' dark. I hardly ever was at this o't." "There's nothing strange in that, William," I said, "for your disease is depressing, and the want of sleep is depressing. You must, in quiet, simple trust, lay down your head on Christ, and rest on Him in perfect peace." "I wish that I could, but I canna -I can see naething-I can feel naething-my heart's hard, and dark, and dead. O, I never was at this o't." " How happy is it for us, William, that though we change Jesus never changes. He is always holy, always gracious, always sympathizing. And though you cannot help saying just now, am poor and needy,' you must go on, and add 'yet the Lord thinketh on me.' The Lord is thinking on you, William. Is not that a most comforting thought?" "I dinna ken," said the old man, "I'm unco sair put about. Last night I dovered a wee and fell into a frightful dream. I thought I was in hell. O, what if I should turn out to be deceiving mysel' after a'." And the old man's voice, which had been growing husky, fairly broke down. " But," I said, "that was only a dream. Never mind your dreams. God's word is no dream, nor Christ's blood, 1 Christ's love. Rest your trust on Him, and remember that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away; than for the least jot or tittle of His word to fail." " O, yes; God's words are true; I hae nae dout about them; its mysel' that I'm no sure about. I'm sair fear't that I hae been deceiving mysel' a' clang. Ye dinna ken what a desperate battle I hae had wi' a bad, bad unbelieving heart: I aye dreaded, mair or less, that it might come to this; but I ne'er was clean forsaken till noo. To hear Him say, 'Depart from me, ye cursed;' I canna bear to think on't"-and the old man covered his face and sobbed aloud. "But, William," I said, you must not indulge these desponding thoughts. They dishonor the Lord Jesus, and they torment yourself. The Lord, you know, is the very same that He ever was; you must trust Him, and rest on Him." The old man, however, had a "but" to this, and to every other comforting word., The words of Scripture, which are so unspeakably precious to a soul that has appropriated them by faith, were not, he thought, for him. It was manifest, however, that though he continued to defend his position of distrust and self-torment, the simple and powerful words of God were really reaching his heart.
For several reasons this case was a peculiarly distressing one. When all efforts to console him were nearly exhausted a thought occurred to me.
"William," I said, "I have had a letter from——-; she desires to be remembered to you." "Very kind of her; how is she?” he asked. " She has been very sorely tried————-, has most cruelly deserted her, after doing all to win her confidence, and leading her to abandon every other earthly hope, has broken his troth with her at the last." "Shame, shame," cried the old man, "it's most awfu." I wonder God bears in patience wi' a world like this." "Yes, it is most wicked. We are fit for anything when left to ourselves. How unsafe it is for us to allow our hearts to rest anywhere but in Jesus. He never will deceive a soul that trusts Him in this fashion," I replied. " Never," said the old man, firmly. "His name is faithful and true." "I am glad to hear you say so, William, for I feared you might have been thinking otherwise." " Me, think itherwise o' the Lord Jesus! Na, na; what puts that in your head?" " Simply this," I said-"It seems to me that all your trouble this morning comes from the fear that the holy Lord Jesus, so full of grace and truth, will deal with you in a similar way that that man did with poor." "Never, never," cried the old man, with energy; "it's no Him I'm misdooting, it is mysel'. I'm quite sure He'll be true; but its my ain deceitfu' eel' Pm -feared for." " I am not quite clear about that, William; I am afraid that you do misdoubt Him, and that your trouble this morning arises very much from a fear that sadly reflects on the truthfulness of the Lord Jesus." I dinna understan' ye ava," said the old man, deeply interested. "Explain your meaning to me, and mak' it as plain as ye can, for I'm unto dull o' the uptak." "Well, then, William," I said, "Has not the Lord Jesus been seeking, for years, to engage your heart with Him! Has he not, in His holy word, been setting Himself out before you, in every attractive way that was fitted to win the heart of a poor sinful soul that needed such a Savior? Has He not again and again, spoken words which were enough to make your heart leap, and assure you that he desired to have you His forever? Has He not taken away, one by one, all your earthly ties-your wife, and children-till now you have nothing left you but Himself? In short, has He, so to speak, left any stone unturned to gain your whole heart? Would you not then be everlastingly heart-broken to lose Him now? Are you afraid that He will desert you now at this moment of your greatest need? He knew all your unworthiness before He offered Himself for you, and to you, in the perfect knowledge too, that you were infinitely unworthy. Ah, William, never think that the Lord Jesus is such an one that, after having thus acted, He will at last say to you 'Depart from me, ye cursed.' Never think, that, after you have been led to rest on Him, and His faithfulness and truth, He will deceive you. Can you dare to think that after all this He will now, in your helpless extremity, turn away and coldly leave you to everlasting heartbreak. Never, never! And I protest here, 'William, against your presuming to suspect so unworthily the perfect faithfulness of the Blessed One, who is Himself love and truth."
The old man made no reply for some time. The thought had fairly got hold of his mind, but it took him a little while to look at it, till he felt its power. When he did so he suddenly lifted himself up, and resting on his elbow, the heal-inng look in his face showing out the gladness of his soul, as he said, with energy, " Na, na; He'll do naething o' the kind-and it's a shocking thin.. for me ever to even the like o't till Him. Yes; I can trust Him; and though I be what I am -the very chief o' sinners-He is aye what He is, the Faithfu' and the True! See ye, I widna: hae wanted that bit wordie e'uoo for all that's in the Noose. I'll jist lie still in His holy hams, and rest on Him."
Dear reader, a sorely-tried heart like his can find no true rest save in "Jesus only." Frames and feelings won't do. The good opinions of others as to our state won't do. The remembrance of past experience won't do. Nothing will calm a restless heart, or give quiet to a troubled spirit but Jesus Himself. The heart may get a false peace for the moment apart from Christ, but a true heart, sorely tried, is like the dove which found no rest till it rested in the Ark with Noah. Therefore, in seeking to have the heart at rest it is idle to turn for it anywhere but to Jesus. Jesus, in His glorious person. Jesus, in His finished work. Jesus, in His faithfulness to Himself and to His word. In the case of this troubled old man, it was rather the faithfulness of Jesus than His graciousness that was overlooked. How many souls are thus tried. It seems to the burdened heart to be true humility 'that so looks upon its own exceeding sinfulness, as to feel that it is almost beyond the widest stretch of mercy. Humility! It is but unbelief! But if the soul which is thus tried would but look at the divine truth of Him who has spoken, then the heart would rest.
Look well then, O tried one, to your false humility, if it keeps you from rejoicing in the perfect love of God. True, heaven-born grace it is that thinks little of self and much of Christ. His mercy is not more engaged in pardoning the believing one than are His faithfulness and His truth.