2 Corinthians 1:5
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ.
There is a proportion between trials and consolation. The God of Providence bears a pair of balances-in this side He puts His people’s trials, and in that He puts their consolations. When the balance of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the balance of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the balance of trials is full, you will find the balance of consolation just as heavy. When the clouds of darkness gather the most, the light is the more brightly revealed to us. When the night lowers and the storm is coming on, our Heavenly Captain is always closest to His crew. It is a wonderful thing, that when we are the most down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit.
One reason is, because trials make more room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The shovel of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. God comes into our hearts-there He finds it full-He begins to break our comforts and to make it empty; then there is more room for grace. The humbler a man lies, the more comfort he will always have, because he will be more fitted to receive it.
Another reason why we are often most happy in our troubles, is this-we have the closest dealings with God. When the barn is full of hay, man can live without God: when the wallet is bursting with money, we try to do without so much as even a prayer. But once take our stuff away, and we want our God; once cleanse the stuff out of the house, then we are compelled to honor Jehovah, Our Lord. “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord! “There is no cry that is as good as that which comes from the bottom of the mountains; no prayer half so hearty as that which comes up from the depths of the soul, through deep trials and afflictions. Hence they bring us to God, and we are happier; for nearness to God is happiness. Come, you who are troubled, believe, do not worry over your heavy troubles, for they are the heralds of weighty mercies.
Ride On Friend,
2 Samuel 5:24
When thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, then thou shalt bestir thyself.
The members of Christ’s Church should be very prayerful, always seeking the unction of the Holy One to rest upon their hearts, that the kingdom of Christ may come, and that His “will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven;” but there are times when God seems especially to favor Zion, such seasons ought to be to them like “the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees.” We need to be doubly prayerful, doubly earnest, wrestling more at the throne than we ever have wanted to do.
Action should then be prompt and vigorous. The tide is flowing-now let us pull manfully for the shore. Oh to see the Pentecostal outpourings and Pentecostal labors. Christian, in yourself there are times “when you hear the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees.” You have a peculiar power in prayer; the Spirit of God gives you joy and gladness; the Scripture is open to you; the promises are applied; you walk in the light of God’s countenance; you have peculiar freedom and liberty in devotion, and more closeness of communion with Christ. Now, at such joyous periods when you hear the “sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees,” is the time to stir yourself; now is the time to get rid of any evil habit, while God the Spirit helps you in your infirmities. Spread your sail; but remember what you sometimes sing-
“I can only spread the sail;
Thou! Thou! must breathe the auspicious gale.”
Only be sure you have the sail up. Do not miss the wind the gale for desire of seeing or feeling it. Seek help from God, that you may be more earnest in duty when made strong in faith; that you may be more constant in prayer when you have freedom at the throne; that you may be more holy in your conversation while you live more closely with Christ.
May God Bless You,
“Can swamp-grass grow without mud?”
Vegetation that grows in a swamp is usually spongy and hollow, and the same is true of the hypocrite; there is no substance or stability in that person. Reeds are shaken about by every wind just as some people give in to every influence. And, unless I am deceived, I had better consider whether or not I am a hypocrite.
Swamp-grass by nature lives in the mud, and owes its very existence to it; let the mud become dry, and the blades of grass wither very quickly. Is that how I am? Do I only serve God when I’m in good company, or when the church is profitable and respectable? Do I love the Lord only when some comforts are received from His hands? If so, then I am a hypocrite, and, like the withering grass, I will perish when death deprives me of outward joys. But can I honestly say that, when comforts have been few, and my surroundings grim, I have still held fast my integrity? If so, then I have hope that there is genuine, vital godliness in me.
When the Lord does the planting, his grasses flourish even in the year of drought. A godly man often grows best when his worldly circumstances decay. He who follows Christ for his mone is a Judas, and those who follow for loaves and fishes are children of the devil; but those who attend to Jesus Christ out of love for Him are His own, His beloved ones.
Lord, let me find my life in You and not in the mire of this world’s favor or gain. As we begin a new year, allow me to keep my focus on You and Your will. May God bless in this coming new year.
Ride on My Friend,
Thy paths drop fatness.
Many are “the paths of the Lord” which “drop fatness,” but a special one is the path of prayer. No believer, who spends much in the closet, will have to cry, “My leanness, my leanness; woe unto me.” Starving souls live at a distance from the mercy- seat, and become like the parched fields in times of dryness. Prevalence with God in wrestling prayer is sure to make the believer strong-if not happy. The nearest place to the gate of heaven is the throne of the heavenly grace. Much alone, and you will have much assurance; little alone with Jesus, your religion will be shallow, polluted with many doubts and fears, and not sparkling with the joy of the Lord. Since the soul-enriching path of prayer is open to the very weakest saint; since no high attainments are required; since you are not asked to come because you are an advanced saint, but freely invited if you be a saint at all; see to it, dear friend, that you are often in the way of private devotion. Spend time on your knees, for so Elijah drew the rain upon famished Israel’s fields.
There is another especial path dropping with fatness to those who walk, it is the secret walk of communion. Oh! the delights of fellowship with Jesus! The earth has no words which can set forth the holy calm of a soul leaning on the bosom of Jesus. Few Christians understand it, they live in the lowlands and seldom climb to the top of Nebo: they live in the outer court, they enter not the holy place, they do not take up the privilege of priesthood. At a distance they see the sacrifice, but they do not sit down with the priest to eat thereof, and to enjoy the fat of the burnt offering. But, friend, sit down ever under the shadow of Jesus; come up to that palm tree, and take hold of the branches that are there; let your beloved be unto you as the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, and you shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. O Jesus, visit us with Your salvation!
Ride on Friend,
Behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague.
Strange enough this regulation appears, yet there is wisdom in it, for the throwing out of the disease proved that the constitution was sound. Today it may be well for us to see the typical teaching of such a rule. We, too, are lepers, and may read the law of leper as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be altogether lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and no part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his own, and pleads guilty before the Lord, then is he clean through the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy, but when sin is seen and felt it has received its death blow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it. Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness, or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are “nothing else but sin,” for no confession short of this will be the whole truth, and if the Holy Spirit be at work with us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty about making such an acknowledgment-it will spring spontaneously from our lips. What comfort does the text afford to those under a deep sense of sin! Sin mourned and confessed, however black and foul, shall never shut a man out from the Lord Jesus. Whosoever comes unto Him, He will in no wise cast out. Though dishonest as the thief, though unchaste as the woman who was a sinner, though fierce as Saul of Tarsus, though cruel as Manasseh, though rebellious as the prodigal, the great heart of love will look upon the man who feels himself to have no soundness in him, and will pronounce him clean, when he trusts in Jesus crucified. Come to Him, then, poor heavy-laden sinner,
Come needy, come guilty, come loathsome and bare;
You can’t come too filthy-come just as you are.
Ride on Friend,
Psalm 62:1 says, “Truly my soul waits upon God: from Him comes my salvation.”
Wow! What a posture! Waiting on the Lord. May this always be our condition all day, every day. Waiting on His leisure, waiting on His service, waiting on His joyful expectation, waiting in prayer and being content, knowing He is in control. When we wait upon our Lord our soul longs for His presence, it is the truest condition of a creature before His creator, a servant before his Master, a child before his Father. We must not complain, or permit distrust. We must practice running before the cloud during the day and the fire at night. We must not seek any other aid. God and God alone should be the expectation of our hearts.
Blessed assurance Jesus is mine,
Oh what a foretaste of Glory Devine,
Heir of Salvation purchased of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long,
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long.
May God bless you!
Ride on Friend,
D. W. Gulliford
More Than Just Words
And He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has then said, “I will give you the sure mercies of David.”
Nothing of a man is sure, but everything of God is so. The covenant mercies of God are sure mercies, even as David said, “an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.”
We are sure that the Lord meant His mercy. He did not speak mere words. There is definitely substance and truth in every word and promise He has made. The mercy of God is mercy for sure. The good Lord will make good His word.
Be sure the Lord will bring His promised mercies on all His covenanted ones. They shall come in due course to all the chosen of God. Be sure the Lord will continue His mercies to His own people. He does not give and take. What God has granted us is the token of much more. What we have already received is as sure as that which has already come. Let us then wait on the Lord and be still. There is no reason to doubt, God’s love and word are faithful and true. Many things in this world are questionable, but of God our Lord we can sing, “His mercy endures forever.”
Ride on Friend,
The Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. (Judges 4:9)
Rather an unusual text, but there may be souls in the world that may have faith enough to grasp it. Barak, the man, though called to the war, had little stomach for the fight unless Deborah would go with him, and so the Lord determined to make it a woman’s war. By this means He rebuked the slackness of the man, gained for Himself the more renown, and cast the more shame upon the enemies of His people. The Lord can still use feeble instrumentalities. Why not me? He may use persons who are not commonly called to great public engagements. Why not you? The woman who slew the enemy of Israel was no Amazon but a wife who tarried in her tent. She was no orator but a woman who milked the cows and made butter. May not the Lord use any one of us to accomplish His purpose? Somebody may come to the house today, even as Sisera came to Jael’s tent. Be it ours not to slay him, but to save him. Let us receive him with great kindness and then bring forth the blessed truth of salvation by the Lord Jesus, our great Substitute, and press home the command “Believe and live.” Who knoweth but some stout-hearted sinner may be slain by the gospel today!
Ride on Friend,
The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
When sin is pardoned, our greatest sorrow has ended, and our truest pleasure begins. Such is the joy which the Lord bestows upon His reconciled ones. It overflows and fills all nature with delight. The material world has latent music in it, and a renewed heart knows how to bring it out and make it vocal. Creation is the organ, and a gracious man finds out its keys, he lays his hand on the instrument, and wakes the whole system of the universe to the harmony of praise. Mountains and hills, and other great objects, are, as it were the bass of the chorus; while the trees of the woods and all things that have life take up the air of the melodious song. What a sight it is when one is reconciled to God through repentance and faith.
When God’s word is made to prosper among us and souls are saved, then everything seems full of song. When we hear the confessions of young believers and the testimonies of well-instructed saints. We are made so happy that we must praise the Lord, and then it seems as if rocks and hills and woods and fields echo our joy-notes and turn the world into an orchestra. Lord, on this happy day, lead me out into thy tuneful world as rich in praise as the bird who is in full song.
Ride on my friend,
God Never Fails!
Joshua 1:5 says, “I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
This vital word to Joshua is often quoted in the New Testament. It is the very basis of the New Testament. “He has said, I will never leave thee or forsake thee.”
Christian, there is before us a life of warfare. Rest well my friend, the Lord of Hosts is with us. Are we not called Christian? Christ In! We are called to lead a fickle people. This promise guarantees us all the wisdom and prudence that we shall need. Do we not contend in this world with cunning and powerful enemies? Here is the Word of Strength, prowess and victory. By this Word we know the Lord Himself is with us.
Jehovah indeed is our Rock and our Fortress. There has never been or ever will be a time when the Lord of Hosts will desert us. He will always be at our side. Faithful friends will drop from us, their help is but a shower in the storm; but God is faithful, Jesus is the same forever, and the Holy Spirit abides in us.
Be calm and live life Oh Christian! Clouds may gather, but the Lord will blow them away. God will not fail me, my faith shall not fail either; and God will never forsake me, neither will I forsake Him. Oh, what a restful faith!
Ride On Friend,
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.”
The nearer we come to God, the more graciously He will reveal Himself to us. When the prodigal comes to his father, his father runs to meet him. When the wandering dove returned to the ARK, Noah put out his hand and pulled her to him, when the tender wife seeks her husband, he comes to her on the wings of love. Come now, let us all draw near to God who will so graciously accept us with open arms.
In Isaiah 58:9, the Lord seems to put Himself at the disposal of His people, saying to them, “Here I am.” It is as if He is just waiting to bless you. Why do we hesitate for His greeting? Why do we hesitate to draw near to God? If we draw near to others in the world they will definitely grow tired of us and more than likely leave us; but if we seek the Lord alone, no change will come over His mind, He will continue to come nearer and nearer to us for fuller and fuller fellowship. Draw near to God this season and He will draw near to you.
God Bless You My Friend,
1 Samuel 17:37
David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:37
This is not a promise if we consider only the words, but it is truly so as to its sense. David spoke a word which the Lord endorsed by making it true. He argued from past deliverance’s that he should receive help in a new danger. In Jesus all the promises are always Yes and Amen to the glory of God by us, and so the Lord’s former dealings with His believing people will be repeated.
Come then let us think about the Lord’s lovingkindness. We could not have hoped for anything but deliverance. The Lord will always deliver His anointed from the power of death as well as over the world. For greater is He that is in you then anything in the world. So hold fast friend as David ran to meet his foe so let us run in the deliverance of the Lord’s Anointed. Run with POWER, run with MIGHT, run with patience for the Lord Your God will deliver you.
Ride on Friend,
“A Wonderful Promise”
Isaiah 41:10 says, “I will strengthen thee.”
When called to serve or to suffer, we take stock in our strength, and we find it to be less than we thought we had or less than we might need. We should never let our heart sink within us while we have such a word as Isaiah to fall back upon. This word guarantees us all that we can possible need. God has strength omnipotent. His strength can be communicated to us; and His promise is that He will do this very thing. He will be the food of our souls and the health of our hearts; and thus He will give us strength. No one can ever tell how much power God can put into a man. In His divine strength human weakness is never a hindrance.
We should remember seasons of trial in which we received special strength and wondered how did I make it through? In the middle of danger we were calm, under difficult times we were resigned, in sickness we were patient. The fact of the matter is God gives us unexpected strength when unusual trials come upon us. We rise out of our feeble selves and put our trust in God alone. Cowards play the man, foolish people have wisdom given to them, and the silent receive in the self-same hour what they shall speak. In my own weakness I cower and shrink, but God’s promises make be braver than ever. Lord give me strength beyond my own and always according to Your Word.
Ride on Friend,
Isaiah 30:15 says, “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.”
It is always weakness to be fretting and worrying, questioning and mis-trusting. What can we do if we wear ourselves to skin and bone? Can we gain anything by fearing and fuming? Do we not tie ourselves up with fret and worry? Why do we sink by our struggles when we should be floating by our faith?
Oh, for grace to be quiet. Why run from house to house to repeat the weary story which makes us more and more heartsick? Why stay at home and live in agony? It would do us all well to keep a quiet tongue, but even more so to have a quiet heart. Oh be still and know that Jehovah is God.
Oh, for grace to be confident in God! The Holy One of Israel will defend and deliver His own. Surely every work of His will stand, though the mountains will depart, His word will stand forever. Come my soul, lean your head upon the bosom of the Lord Jesus. Rest surely in the year to come.
Ride on Friend,