Fears, Cares, and Hope

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 5
4And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. 5And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. (Luke 11:4‑7)22But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. 23He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. 24When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. 27And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. 29And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. 30For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. 31The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 33No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. 34The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. 35Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. 36If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. 37And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. 38And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. 39And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. 40Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? 41But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. 42But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 43Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. 44Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them. (Luke 11:22‑44)There are three things the Lord Jesus does in this scripture. First, He removes all fears; second, He removes all care; third, He implants a divine hope in the heart. Now, the way the Lord removes all fears is interesting. In verse 4 He says, "My friends, be not afraid," &c. He says more in verse 7: "Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." No mother shows the same interest in her children as the Lord shows to us. Who ever heard of a mother taking her child on her lap and counting every hair of its head? Yet He takes us in the lap of everlasting love, and shows His love to us, His care and interest in us, by taking the pains to number every hair of our head. What interest! what care I what love!I want you to see that the Lord's love to you cannot be surpassed. He will never love us more, and He will never love us less, than He does at this moment. His love is perfect. Oh, beloved I do you know that you are an, object of His love, His perfect and everlasting love? How do you know that you are friends of Christ? " He that hath friends must show himself friendly," and He shows His friendliness to you. He is our friend, but we are His friends too, as shown in John 15:1313Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13). Not only He is my friend, true as it is, but I am His friend. Impress this on your hearts-we are His friends. Can you indulge in a fear? I am His friend-removes all fear. What are people most in fear about? The body. Now He says, "Don't indulge in a single fear. I'll take care of your body." Now, instead of having fear, have faith. The Lord wants to expel all fear from my heart. Let us have faith in Him.
Second, He removes cares. (vv. 22, 30, 32) Here is a second thing-" cares." And how does He take away cares from our hearts? By revealing the Father in heaven. He might have redeemed us and stopped there, but that would not set up relationship between God and us sins forgiven, redeemed by blood, saved by grace, but no relationship. You must get adoption into a family, or be a born child. We are born into God's family. Adoption is putting us into relationship with Himself as children of God by Christ.' We have got the place of children according to His will; and because we are children, He sends forth the Spirit of His Son to dwell in our hearts. Now, you have the saved, Jew and Gentile (Eph. 1), brought into the family, looking up to heaven and saying, "Abba, Father." How do you address God? As Jehovah, as God Almighty, or as Father? If you can address Him as Father, that shows you are in possession of the Holy Ghost. You can never forfeit the place of a child, no matter how naughty you are; but you can forfeit communion. We are separated to obedience as Christ obeys. Obedience is the source of enjoyment and of communion with our Lord Jesus Christ. There are many Christians who do not know they have a Father; but there comes a time when they are sealed by the Holy Ghost, and then they look up and say "Father," and go on to know the Father's heart. Why is it that the children of God have so many cares? Because, though they may know they have a Father, they do not know His heart. Now, I say to such as have cares, " The man that is most dependent on God is the man who is most independent of man." We have no cares, because we know a Father's love and heart; no cares, but unclouded faith in a Father's love.
Prayer means dependence on God. How extremes meet in that verse: " Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Phil. 4:66Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)) You could not know the Father's heart and have cares. His love cannot be more, and it cannot be less. Oh, you have a Father in heaven! rise up to the knowledge of Him. Every child of God can say, every day, "I know my Father cares for me, and I am one of His favorites. Come what may, I fall back into the arms of my Father. Though the storm roar and the vessel rock, I lie down on the vessel's deck, and sleep because I know that I have a Father in heaven." Now that is how Christ takes all fears and cares from our hearts. He removes fears by making us His friends, and He removes cares by showing us the Father's love.
Third, the Lord implants a divine hope. (v. 3) There are three things He produces in the heart-waiting for Him, watching for Him, and working for Him. If you are waiting for Him, how are you waiting? Like the man in verse 36? He is coming Himself. (John 14:2,3) If you are expecting the Lord's return before the day is over, you have a person before your heart (1 Peter 1:7,8), if not you are only believing a doctrine in your head, and have not reality in your heart. It is always the One who is coming that is put before us, never the thing that is to happen. Are you waiting as those in 1 Thess. 4:1515For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:15), and Acts 1:1010And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; (Acts 1:10)? They were not waiting for an event to transpire, but they, were expecting a person to come. When they went to bed they expected Him before the sun rose again on the world. Did you get up this morning expecting Christ's second coming before night. If not, you are not waiting for the Lord's return, you are only believing in a doctrine. John 14 speaks of the Person; not of the place, but of Himself. We want more of Christ. I don't care how many mansions there will be there, I only care for the Person. In 1 Peter 1, when he speaks of the place, he says, "Ye greatly rejoice;" but when he speaks of the Person, it is "joy unspeakable, and fall of glory." No words can describe it. He went up personally, and He will come personally. He is coming. I don't say the coming is near, but the Person who is coming is near.
In Rev. 22:7,12,16,20, four times He puts His own Person before the Christian as the One He expects us to be waiting for. What I press on you, beloved, is that we should be like unto men that wait for their Lord personally, socially, commercially, and ecclesiastically. It is our holy and blessed privilege to get up and go to bed expecting our Lord. I know nothing so likely to take place to-night as for the Lord Himself to descend from heaven. That is the blessed, near, purifying, and only hope put before us. You may believe a doctrine, but it will not affect your attire and practice. You must believe in a person for it to touch all the points of the compass. Obedience waits; but a heart is not satisfied only with obedience, it wants to show attachment to Christ by watching. (v. 37) Oh, beloved, it is not only that we are to be waiting, but we are to be watching for Him! (vv. 42, 43) My brethren and sisters, are you on the watch-tower? Oh, beloved, would you not 'like to be the first to see the bright and morning star? The morning star is for the Church. The sun is what Israel is waiting for (Mal. 4); but we are waiting for the morning star. (Rev. 22) The star comes before the sun. Take care to keep out of evil ways, lest you be not practically ready for Him at His coming. Oh, let us not only be obediently waiting for Him, but let us be affectionately watching for Him! (vv. 42, 43) Now you have got works, devotedness works, works till He comes. He does not want you to sit down with folded arms, and say, I am waiting and watching. You are not like Paul if you sit with sinners round you, and are not trying to gather them in. Paul was ready, whenever he could get listeners, to tell them what the Lord had done for him. We can't all preach, but every one has his own work. One who loves us waits and watches for the first opportunity of finding what he can do; and I believe if there is a heart to do, we shall find something to do without any difficulty. If you sit at His feet, lean on His arm, and pillow your head on His bosom, you will find 'out what Ile, likes you to do, There are young converts who need confirming and establishing in the truth; there are others to be told of a Savior. Everyone ought to be able to speak to the anxious ones. Tell them where and how you got salvation, and where and how they can get it for themselves. If you have a heart for Christ, because He has taken away your fears, expelled your cares, and implanted a divine hope in your heart, then you will be obediently waiting for Him, lovingly watching for Him, and devotedly working for Him till He comes. May God make Him increasingly precious to each one of us for His name's sake!
H. M. H.