Consolation in Christ

Psalm 94:19
"In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul." Psalm 94:1919In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. (Psalm 94:19).
This is uttered in view of abounding iniquity which broke in pieces Jehovah's people and afflicted His heritage. The cry comes forth, How long is this to go on? Then comforting thoughts assure the heart. The Lord hears, He sees, He chastens, He corrects, He teaches man knowledge, for He knows. Happy indeed is the man whom the Lord chastens and teaches, in whom the discipline of the Word is effectual as he passes through the varied exercises in and by which he learns to have his senses exercised to discern good and evil. He learns that evil is in man, in himself, but that good is in God alone. "Thou art good, and doest good." Thus God is known and trusted as "the rock of my refuge" (v. 22).
"Shall there be evil in a city?" the prophet inquires, "and the LORD hath not done it?" (Amos 3:66Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? (Amos 3:6)). When we own this it humbles us under the mighty hand of God; yet it is in such moments that the multitude of thoughts are prone to cause a tumult within. It was so in the psalmist. Why was judgment to return to righteousness? It cannot be that the throne of iniquity has fellowship with Jehovah, and yet iniquity prevails. O Lord, how long? These questionings are hushed as the Word is applied to us. As to myself, it teaches me my own nothingness—"I said, This is my infirmity" (Psalm 77:1010And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. (Psalm 77:10)); then it teaches me to remember who that blessed God is whose way is in the sanctuary, and therefore according to the holiness of His own dwelling place. "I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High." Thus our will is subjected, and the God of patience comforts us.
"Thy comforts"! Who would not have the exercises to possess the comforts? So Paul wrote, "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." 2 Cor. 1:55For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:5). As to the Corinthians also his hope was steadfast, "knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation," and this consolation comes from the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. In the epistle to the Romans also, what had been written of Christ aforetime, Paul records that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Here is the comfort, that Christ pleased not Himself, but became the subject of reproaches because of His zeal for the house of God. It is a comfort when in any measure what is of Christ fills the heart to the exclusion of our own thoughts. In His zeal for the house of God, how perfectly did He take into His own soul its state and condition. He wept and made sackcloth His garment. To have Christ's thoughts about that which belongs to God, is indeed a comfort, while fully desiring to own, according to the Spirit of Christ, our own share in that which causes its present condition—"O God, Thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from Thee." Psalm 69:55O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. (Psalm 69:5). It was grace in Him to take this place of confession of our sins; it becomes us.
It is blessed to think that we may in our measure taste the comforts which Jesus knew in the midst of sorrows; but it becomes us here to tread with reverence, for it is holy ground. See Him at the last supper. "One of you," He had to say of His loved disciples, "shall betray Me"; and has not the Lord to say to us sometimes,
"One of you," as we do this or that. Again, was it not a sorrow that He had to say, "All ye shall be offended because of Me this night." There was the added sorrow also because of the self-confidence of one who protested that he would never be offended, a self-confidence which made necessary the sifting of Satan, allowed by his faithful Lord. But was there no comfort of God as He sat with them and spoke of that day when He would drink with them of a new cup in the kingdom of God, and then sang with them a hymn, a blessed anticipation of His leading their praises in the midst of the assembly. Again, as the same hour of rejection and sorrow drew on, there were anticipations given Him, testimonies of what awaited Him in coming ages. Thus He "drank of the brook in the way." At Bethany (John 12) they made Him a supper. He had entered deeply into the sorrows of death when they passed upon that family, and now they were gathering round Himself. Resurrection will indeed seat His own beyond the power of death at the table with Himself, but in order to do this He must taste death. It is at this moment that the house is filled with the savor of the devoted love of one whose affections He had won. He alone knew and could expound the value of Mary's act.
On the next day He is met by much people, who cry, "Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord." It is the anticipation of His glory in the midst of His beloved Israel, while as a present thing the enemy and avenger is stilled by praise from the mouth of babes and sucklings (Matt. 21:1616And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? (Matthew 21:16); Psalm 8:22Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2)). Then the Gentiles utter their desire—"We would see Jesus," and the full glory of the Son of man passes before His soul. Are there not also these anticipations for us, and they become to us God's comforts which delight our souls? Is it nothing to think of the blessed Lord being satisfied when He sees in each saint of the travail of His soul? We think of the saints as they are in the eye of the Lord, as they will be when He who has loved them and washed them will present them to Himself, when the body of each saint will be a living ray of His glory. Oh, how differently do we regard them when Christ's thoughts about them, in however feeble a measure, possess our hearts. We are then a little—but oh, how little—able to make their sorrows our sorrows, and the joys of Christ in them, become our joys. We think of the day of His joy when He will be able to have full communion with His own, while it is a present comfort that there is still an answer to the enemy and avenger, as a feeble company rehearse the praises of His whose glory is set above the heavens.
The blessed Lord in John 13 was contemplating the moment of His departure out of this world to the Father. His own were still in the world, and He loved them. He knew full well all that was present among them as well as around them; the defiling world without, the treachery within—the outcome of a heart that went out from the light of the company of Jesus into the darkness of the night without, an awful and eternal night. Then there was the ardent and self-confident Peter on the one side, and the disciple who lay on His bosom on the other. All was present to the mind of Jesus, as He washed their feet and said, "I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.... If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." We shall find happiness if we cultivate these affections of Christ to His own. It was at the moment when He was leaving them, so that no longer would He care for them in personal presence, that He gave them the new commandment, "That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." It is as if that love, so perfect toward us in Himself, was now to be carried out by the love, His love in us, of all toward all. How the manifestation of Christ in us would thus be secured! There is no leader here, no attempt in this of one to be greater than another. It is the more excellent way, the manifestation of Christ in each.
When the Lord was thus showing what should be our conduct during His absence, we see how easily a little self-importance can take the place of lowly listening to such an injunction. "Why cannot I follow Thee now?" said Peter, "I will lay down my life for Thy sake." What I will do may thus prevent our hearing and heeding the new commandment. As we listen, so do we hear the voice of the good Shepherd. "As I have loved you" utters in our souls a tenderness of love which can only be His Voice, and as we heed it, so is it the comfort of our hearts to think of all who belong to Him with the same tenderness of love. Love cannot rejoice in iniquity, but it grieves over any that go astray, and would seek to make known the accents of the Shepherd's voice. His love is unchanging, and when we turn to the right hand or to the left He recalls us. The voice may then come from behind us, but it is His voice saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it." Only let us take care that these affections of Christ have their place in our souls. The "I am right and you are wrong" principle of either speaking or acting will find no acceptance with us then, though we shall all the more desire to discern and be assured that there is the Lord's side on which we earnestly seek to be found with our brethren. A multitude of thoughts may indeed press into our souls, but our consolation will abound by Christ.