“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord … but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.” “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe,” so “be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” In all confidence, the redeemed child of God can say, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” And “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” We may rest our hearts on His promise: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”
God has not put fear in our hearts; He taketh our fears away; He gives us His peace and quietness; He changes our night to day.
“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us … full of grace and truth.” He is “the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me,” and “he that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” “that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him.” The Son of God said that “no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”
God’s only begotten Son Came into the world to save, Crucified for all our sins, And raised by God from the grave.
“Jehovah-jireh” means “Jehovah will provide,” or “the Lord will provide.” And not only did He provide Abraham with a ram for a burnt offering, He continually provides all His own with all that they need, spiritually and materially. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” “The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly,” for “the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: He is our help and our shield.” “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” for “my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” “O fear the Lord, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
He provideth all that we need, As we journey from earth to heaven; Graciously and abundantly It from His hand is given.
Just as one may see his face reflected in water, so, as he looks into his own heart, he sees that which is also in the hearts of others. As far as any inherent righteousness is concerned, we “are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God,” “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” As for us who are saved by God’s grace, we all still have to confess that “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not.” Do we excuse things in ourselves which we condemn in others? If things are sinful in others, they are sinful in us also. If things permitted by others seem hateful or questionable, they are hateful and questionable in us too. “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man … for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” And as we long in our own hearts for understanding and comfort and encouragement, let us remember that others have the same needs, “knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
Do we look upon others with scorn, Thinking we’re better than they? Forgetting we’re all as nothing, Needing God’s grace every day?
A good runner does not have his eye upon the other contestants in the race, but on the goal, and we who know the Lord as Savior, and are thus in the Christian race, should be constantly “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. … I therefore so run, not as uncertainly … but I keep under my body and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” for a reward. “None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy.” “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” “Draw me, we will run after Thee.”
I would run the race with patience, To honor my Savior-Friend, Looking off always to Jesus, A reward for Him to win.
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” for “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” So “by Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name,” for “it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High: to show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night.” It behooves us who have been redeemed to praise His name, for “He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” So “rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright,” and the Lord says that “whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.” Let us then, by His enabling grace, “in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”
“Praise is comely for the upright,” From the heart that’s been made new, Praise for mercies freely given, Sent down on us as the dew.
The Christian who will not be reproved shows that he is “wise in his own conceit,” for “he is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth,” and “whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.” “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honored,” and “he that regardeth reproof is prudent.” While “a scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise,” yet “when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.” So “hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” The Lord says that “because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh,” for “he, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for … reproof.”
Will you not let your soul hear truth That reproves and shows the way? Will you stubbornly resist it, As God pleads from day to day?
How spiritually profitable it is for the Christian to muse and ponder over God’s Word. “Blessed is the man” whose “delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” Thus “my meditation of Him shall be sweet,” for the Word speaks of our blessed Lord and Savior who, journeying with the two Emmaus disciples, “expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” So when we meditate upon the Word, we are, in fact, meditating upon Him. “I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches.” “I meditate on all Thy works; I muse on the work of Thy hands.” So, “give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my meditation,” and “I will meditate also of all Thy work, and talk of Thy doings.” Meditation then produces prayer and testimony and contributes to a godly life, for “I will meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways.” “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”
Ponder well the Word of the Lord; Muse and meditate therein, For God’s Word turned o’er in the heart Will armor the soul from sin.
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee.” “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” and “the eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” “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.” “Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us,” for “in God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.” So “I will sing of Thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning: for Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.” We “have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us … even Jesus, made a high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” “O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction.” “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.”
He is my refuge in trouble; To Him I can flee for aid; He giveth His grace to succor, He on whom my sins were laid.
There are many things in life of which we may partake without committing sin. But some of these seemingly harmless things may impede our spiritual progress and therefore “are not expedient.” Certain attitudes and habits and companionships do not contribute to our spiritual well-being; they are not conducive to a close walk with the Lord. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” “As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God,” making sure that we are not “choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” “Take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” “Do all to the glory of God.”
I have liberty in the Lord To live a life that is free, But His love holds me in bondage, And constrained my life must be.