Friday, January 27, 2012
God at work! And if God had not helped us! by James Smith
God at work!
"There is nothing too hard for You!" Jeremiah 32:17
There is nothing too hard for God to EFFECT:
"Is anything too hard for Me, says the Lord?"
"I know that You can do everything."
"He does according to His will among the armies of Heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth."
"He works all things after the counsel of His own will."
Nothing is too hard for God — no change in providence — however it may appear improbable, or impossible to us. He could bring water out of the flinty rock. He could supply quail to satisfy the needs, and gratify the lusts of His people in the desert. He could feed Elijah for twelve months by ravens, and for two years and a half more, by a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in the widow's cruse. He could inundate Samaria with plenty — in the midst of famine and fearful desolation. If He wills it . . .
the fire shall not burn the three Hebrew youths,
nor the lions injure Daniel,
nor death hold Lazarus in the tomb.
What He has done — He can do; for He is the same. And if necessary for the glory of His name — He will do it, for He will not allow His name to be polluted.
"Providence" is simply God at work — at work for . . .
the accomplishment of His decrees,
the fulfillment of His promises,
the manifestation of His character, and
the present and eternal welfare of His people.
He can . . .
give whatever we need,
do whatever we need, and
glorify Himself in giving to us, and working for us!
If God had not helped us!
"I was pushed back and about to fall — but the Lord helped me!" Psalm 118:13
The psalmist had been reviewing his toils, his trials, and his dangers; he commemorates his deliverances, his conquests, and his triumphs; and he ascribes the whole, to the help of God! If God had not helped him — his faith would have failed, his expectations would have been disappointed, and his foes would have prevailed. Through the Lord, he did valiantly; and now, with joyful heart, he records the loving-kindness of the Lord.
How sweet to look back upon the rough road, the bloody battle-field, the scenes of peculiar trial. Then, if ever, gratitude will work within us, and praises will flow from our tongues and hearts. Delivered from the mouth of the lion, and the paw of the bear — we thankfully acknowledge, "The Lord helped me!"
In looking back we see that we have needed help — and more help than any mere creature could afford us!
The daily cross,
the inward conflict,
the domestic troubles,
the perplexities of business,
the state of the church,
the affairs of the world —
have all combined to teach us that Divine help was necessary!
If God had not helped us . . .
we would have fallen into sin,
we would have disgraced our profession,
we would have been crushed by our foes,
we would have fainted under our trials,
we would have apostatized from the faith!
God alone knows what would have been the result — if we had been left to our own resources. We needed help in infancy, in youth, in manhood. We needed help in prosperity — and in adversity! We needed help in temporals — and spirituals. We found our own strength — to be weakness, and our own wisdom — to be folly.
The feeblest of our foes — would have been more than a match for us!
The least corruption in our hearts — would have overcome us!
And we need help now — as much as we ever did; for, unless the Lord helps us . . .
our foes will yet triumph over us,
our crosses will yet prove to be too much for us,
and we shall yet faint in the day of adversity!
The Lord has promised help. He has said, "Fear not — for I am with you; be not dismayed — for I am your God! I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness!" And because His people feel themselves to be vile, weak, and incompetent; He stoops to speak to them according to their own views of themselves and says, "Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel — for I Myself will help you! declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel!"
Oh, precious promise, of a good and gracious God!
It extends to all times,
it embraces all circumstances,
it belongs to all believers, and
it ensures us triumph over all our foes!
Yes, the strength of Jesus has been perfected in our weakness! We have found His grace to be sufficient for us; and to the praise of His glorious grace, in reference to all our trials, troubles, and conflicts — we can truly say, "The Lord helped me!"
Oh, beloved, it is an unspeakable mercy to have God for our helper!