“My Heart Standeth In Awe Of Thy Word.”
Several years ago I heard Bro. Mahan make five statements which pierced my heart liked barbed arrows. They were each both painfully convicting and highly encouraging. I hurriedly jotted them down in the back of my Bible. I look at them frequently, and pray that the Lord will ever make me mindful of them. I give them now to you.
“We have entirely too many fears for a people to whom the Lord God has said, `Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’" Why can’t we believe God? Has he not proved his great faithfulness to us? David heard God’s promise and believed him. His faith in God gave quietness to his heart. God’s promises quietened his fears. Didn’t they? (Ps. 4:8; 23:4; 27:10).
“We have far too much anxiety and worry about earthly, material things for a people to whom the Son of God has said - `And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’” It is written in the Scriptures, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Why should I worry, fret and pace the floor by day and by night, when God my Savior has promised that my Father will for his sake provide me with everything I need in this world? Why should I concern myself about that which God, who cannot lie, has promised he will take care of for me? Read Matthew 6 verses 31-34.
“We have far too many doubts concerning God’s mercy, love and grace for a people to whom the Lord Jesus Christ has said, ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out’” (John 6:37). Our Savior himself assures us of the infallibility of his grace. "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28). Upon what grounds dare we call into question the mercy, love and grace of God? We have absolutely no reason to entertain any doubt concerning him! Did he promise; and shall he not fulfill it? Perish the thought! Why should we ever question that? (Read 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:6-8; Rom. 8:31-39). I am not going to doubt God’s love because of something I have thought, or said, or done. His love is unconditional and free! I am not going to question his grace because of my sin. His grace superabounds where sin is found! I am not going to be suspicious of his mercy because I do not deserve his mercy. His mercy is for the undeserving! I am not going to doubt his faithfulness because of my unfaithfulness. His faithfulness stands forever (2 Tim. 2:13, 19).
“We spend entirely too much time grumbling and complaining about our trials and troubles for a people to whom the Lord Jesus has said, - ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’" (John 16:33). We ought not be surprised when troubles come our way. We ought to be surprised when they don’t come! As long as we live in this world, we are going to have trials, troubles, temptations and sorrows. Every ounce of gold that has ever been perfected and made valuable has been refined by fire. And if God puts the gold of his grace in us, he will also make us pass through the fire.
“God in Israel sows the seeds Of affliction, pain and toil.
These spring up and choke the weeds That would else o’er spread the soil.”
Trouble is not a strange thing. For the believer, the absence of trouble is a strange thing. Yet, when we meet with some great difficulty, some heavy trial, some heart-breaking sorrow, though we may not say it, our first shameful, wicked thought is usually - “Why me?” Our first thought really ought to be - “Why not me?”
“Shall I be carried to the skies On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to when the prize And sailed through bloody seas?”
“We have entirely too much attachment to this world and to this present life, for a people who are looking for a city whose Builder and Maker is God” (Heb. 11:8-10; 2 Cor. 5:1). We know that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. We have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Believers are a people who long to be with Christ. Yet, it is so difficult for us to be torn loose from this present existence called life! I can’t explain that. I just know it’s so.
I am sure I did not get his wording exact, but Henry concluded his message with the following thoughts.
“The only way for us to be delivered from these carnal principles, the only way we will ever be delivered from the cares of this world, the only way we will ever be saved from our fears, concerns, doubts, grumblings, and attachments to this world is to find something better. Our religious works will be dropped like a hot potato, if we ever see and get hold of Christ’s finished work. Our boasted good deeds will be of no value, if we are made to see what Christ has done for sinners. Our righteousnesses will appear to us as they really are, as filthy rags, if ever we behold the righteousness of God in Christ. Our goodliness will wither and die like mown grass in a furnace, if we ever see the goodness and glory of God in Christ (Isa. 6:1-6). If ever we see Christ there will be no more, argument about our goodness, no more debate about our worth, and no more fuss about our will! Our fears, our doubts, our grumblings, our complaints against our little trials, our complaints against our God’s providence and purpose will disappear in proportion to the faith we have in his promises (Isa. 43:1-5; 46:4).”