Our Own Sore, Our Own Grief

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all your people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house.” Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men)

2 Chronicles 6:29, 30

Solomon comes to experience; he puts his hand upon the right spot. It is knowing his “own sore” and his “own grief.” You may know another man’s; that will not profit you. You may read of experience in books, love to hear experimental ministers, and will hear no others; and yet not know your “own sore,” your “own grief.” Like a physician who may know the symptoms of every malady, and yet not have one malady of his own; so you may hear described every symptom of every disease, and yet be untouched by one.

But the man for whom Solomon’s prayer is, he that knows and feels, painfully feels, his “own sore” and his “own grief,” whose heart is indeed a grief to him, whose sins do indeed trouble him. How painful this sore often is! how it runs night and day! how full of ulcerous matter, and how it shrinks from the probe!

Most of the Lord’s family have a “sore,” each some tender spot, something perhaps known to himself and to God alone, the cause of his greatest grief. It may be some secret slip he has made, some sin he has committed, some word he has spoken, or some evil thing he has done. He has been entangled, and entrapped, and cast down; and this is his grief and his sore which he feels, and that at times deeply before God. For such Solomon prays–he casts his net upon the right side of the ship; and says, “Then hear from heaven your dwelling-place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart you know; for you only know the hearts of the children of men.” Yes; God alone knows the heart; he knows it completely, and sees to its very bottom.

 

Our Heavenly Citizenship

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Fellow citizens with the saints.” Ephesians 2:19

What is meant by our being citizens in heaven? It means that we are under heaven’s government. Christ the king of heaven reigns in our hearts; our daily prayer is, “May Your will be done on earth—as it is in heaven.” The proclamations issued from the throne of glory are freely received by us—the decrees of the Great King we cheerfully obey.

Then as citizens of the New Jerusalem, we share heaven’s honors. The glory which belongs to beatified saints—belongs to us, for we are already sons of God, already princes of the blood imperial; already we wear the spotless robe of Jesus’ righteousness; already we have angels for our servitors, saints for our companions, Christ for our Brother, God for our Father, and a crown of immortality for our reward! We share the honors of citizenship, for we have come to the general assembly and Church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven.

As citizens, we have common rights to all the property of heaven. Ours are its gates of pearl and walls of chrysolite; ours the azure light of the city that needs no candle nor light of the sun; ours the river of the water of life, and the twelve kinds of fruits which grow on the trees planted on the banks thereof; there is nothing in heaven that belongs not to us. “Things present—or things to come,” all are ours!

Also as citizens of heaven—we enjoy its delights. Do they there rejoice over sinners that repent—prodigals that have returned? So do we. Do they chant the glories of triumphant grace? We do the same. Do they cast their crowns at Jesus’ feet? Such honors as we have we cast there too. Are they charmed with His smile? It is not less sweet to us who dwell below. Do they look forward, waiting for His second advent? We also look and long for His glorious appearing. If, then, we are thus citizens of heaven—let our walk and actions be consistent with our high dignity!

Our Assurance

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” John 10:28

The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief. For a child of God to mistrust God’s love, His truth, His faithfulness, must be greatly displeasing to Him. How can we ever grieve Him—by doubting His upholding grace? Christian! it is contrary to every promise of God’s precious Word that you should ever be forgotten or left to perish. If it could be so, how could He be true who has said, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget—yet will I never forget you.” What were the value of that promise, “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, says the Lord who has mercy on you.”

Where were the truth of Christ’s words, “I give unto My sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, who gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” Where were the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved—if one child of God would perish. Where were the veracity of God, His honor, His power, His grace, His covenant, His oath—if any of those for whom Christ has died, and who have put their trust in Him, should nevertheless be cast away?

Banish those unbelieving fears which so dishonor God. Arise, shake yourself from the dust, and put on your beautiful garments.

Remember that it is sinful to doubt His Word wherein He has promised you that you shall never perish. Let the eternal life within you express itself in confident rejoicing.

Our Groanings

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself.” – Jeremiah 31:18

The spiritual feeling of sin is indispensable to the feeling of salvation. A sense of the malady must ever precede, and prepare the soul for, a believing reception and due apprehension of the remedy. Wherever God intends to reveal his Son with power, wherever he intends to make the gospel “a joyful sound” indeed, he first makes the conscience feel and groan under the burden of sin. And sure am I that when a man is laboring under the burden of sin, he will be full of groans.

The Bible records hundreds of the groans of God’s people under the burden of sin. “My wounds stench and are corrupt,” cries one, “because of my foolishness. I am troubled–I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long” (Psalm 38:5, 6). “My soul,” cries another, is full of troubles, and my life draws near unto the grave” (Psalm 88:3). “He has led me,” groans out a third, “and brought me into darkness, but not into light” (Lam. 3:2). A living man must cry under such circumstances. He cannot carry the burden without complaining of its weight. He cannot feel the arrow sticking in his conscience without groaning under the pain. He cannot have the worm gnawing his vitals without groaning of its venomous tooth. He cannot feel that God is incensed against him without bitterly groaning that the Lord is his enemy.

Spiritual groaning then, is a mark of spiritual life, and is one which God recognizes as such. “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself.” It shows that he has something to mourn over; something to make him groan, being burdened; that sin has been opened up to him in its hateful malignancy; that it is a trouble and distress to his soul; that he cannot roll it like a sweet morsel under his tongue, but that it is found out by the penetrating eye, and punished by the chastening hand of God.

Listening to Faith

Faith told Moses that worldly pleasures were ‘pleasures of sin’. They were mingled with sin, they led on to sin, they were ruinous to the soul, and displeasing to God. It would be small comfort to have pleasure while God was against him. Better suffer and obey God, than be at ease and sin.

Faith told Moses that these pleasures after all were only for a ‘season’. They could not last; they were all short-lived; they would weary him soon; he must leave them all in a few years.

Faith told him that there was a reward in heaven for the believer far richer than the treasures in Egypt, durable riches, where rust could not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. The crown there would be incorruptible; the weight of glory would be exceeding and eternal, and faith bade him look away to an unseen heaven if his eyes were dazzled with Egyptian gold.

Faith told Moses that affliction and suffering were not real evils. They were the school of God, in which He trains the children of grace for glory; the medicines which are needful to purify our corrupt wills; the furnace which must burn away our dross; the knife which must cut the ties that bind us to the world.

Ryle, J. C.. Holiness (p. 123). Heritage Bible Fellowship. Kindle Edition.

God’s Loving Kindness

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“The kindness and love of God our Savior.” Titus 3:4

How sweet it is to behold the Savior communing with His own beloved people! There can be nothing more delightful than, by the Divine Spirit, to be led into this fertile field of delight. Let the mind for an instant consider the history of the Redeemer’s love—and a thousand enchanting acts of affection will suggest themselves, all of which have had for their design—the weaving of the heart into Christ, and the intertwisting of the thoughts and emotions of the renewed soul with the mind of Jesus.

When we meditate upon this amazing love, and behold the all-glorious Kinsman of the Church endowing her with all His ancient wealth, our souls may well faint for joy. Who is he who can endure such a weight of love? That partial sense of it which the Holy Spirit is sometimes pleased to afford, is more than the soul can contain; how transporting must be a complete view of it! When the soul shall have understanding to discern all the Savior’s gifts, wisdom with which to estimate them, and time in which to meditate upon them—such as the world to come will afford us—we shall then commune with Jesus in a nearer manner than at present. But who can imagine the sweetness of such fellowship? It must be one of the things which have not entered into the heart of man—but which God has prepared for those who love Him. Oh, to burst open the door of our Joseph’s granaries, and see the plenty which He has stored up for us! This will overwhelm us with love.

By faith we see, as in a glass darkly, the reflected image of His unbounded treasures—but when we shall actually see the heavenly things themselves, with our own eyes—how deep will be the stream of fellowship in which our soul shall bathe itself! Until then our loudest sonnets shall be reserved for our loving benefactor, Jesus Christ our Lord, whose love to us is wonderful, passing the love of women.

Our Trust in His Leading

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“He led them forth by the right way.” Psalm 107:7

Trials and troubles often leads the anxious believer to enquire, “Why is this happening to me? I looked for light—but lo, darkness came! I looked for peace—but trouble came! Lord, you hide Your face, and I am troubled. It was but yesterday that I could read my title clear; today my evidences are bedimmed, and my hopes are clouded. Yesterday I could climb to Pisgah’s top, and view the landscape o’er, and rejoice with confidence in my future inheritance; today, my spirit has no hopes—but many fears; no joys—but much distress. Is this part of God’s plan with me? Can this be the way in which God would bring me to heaven?”

Yes, it is even so! The eclipse of your faith, the darkness of your mind, the fainting of your hope—all these things are but parts of God’s method of making you ripe for the great inheritance upon which you shall soon enter. These trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith—they are waves that wash you further upon the rock—they are winds which waft your ship the more swiftly towards the desired haven.

According to David’s words, so it might be said of you, “so He brings them to their desired haven.” By honor and dishonor, by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace—by all these things is the life of your souls maintained, and by each of these are you helped on your way. Oh, do not think, believer, that your sorrows are out of God’s plan; they are necessary parts of it. “We must, through much tribulation, enter the kingdom.” Learn, then, even to “Consider it a great joy, whenever you experience various trials.”

“O let my trembling soul be still,
And wait Your wise, Your holy will!
I cannot, Lord, Your purpose see—
Yet all is well since ruled by Thee.”

Our Gladness

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“That I may rejoice in the gladness of your people.” –Psalm 106:5

What is “the gladness of God’s people?” To be saved “without money and without price;” to be saved by grace–free, rich, sovereign, distinguishing grace, without one atom of works, without one grain of creature merit, without anything of the flesh. This is “the gladness of God’s nation;” to rejoice in free grace, grace super-abounding over the aboundings of sin, grace reigning triumphant over the dreadful evils of our heart. It is grace that “gladdens” a man’s heart. Oh! sweet grace, blessed grace! when it meets our case and reaches our souls. Oh! what a help, what a strength, what a rest for a poor toiling, striving, laboring soul, to find that grace has done all the work, to feel that grace has triumphed in the cross of Christ, to find that nothing is required, nothing is needed, nothing is to be done. It is a full and perfect, complete and finished work. Oh! sweet sound, when it reaches the heart and touches the conscience, and is shed blessedly abroad in the soul.

This is “the gladness of God’s nation;” this makes their heart glad, that the work is finished, that the warfare is accomplished, that the Church of God “has received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins;” this is the comforting sound with which God “comforts his people;” this makes the nation glad, and their heart to leap and dance for joy. Has your heart never leaped at the sound?–only for a moment? Has grace never sounded sweetly in your soul, and made your very heart dance within you? If it has, you know what is “the gladness of God’s nation.”

Have We Been Called?

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:30

Here is a precious truth for you, believer. You may be poor, or in suffering, or unknown—but for your encouragement take a review of your “calling” and the consequences that flow from it, and especially that blessed result here spoken of. As surely as you are God’s child today—so surely shall all your trials soon be at an end, and you shall be rich to all the intents of bliss. Wait awhile, and that weary head shall wear the crown of glory, and that hand of labor shall grasp the palm-branch of victory. Lament not your troubles—but rather rejoice that before long you will be where “there shall be neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.” The chariots of fire are at your door, and a moment will suffice to bear you to the glorified. The everlasting song is almost on your lip. The portals of heaven stand open for you.

Do not think that you can fail of entering into rest. If He has called you—nothing can divide you from His love. Troubles cannot sever the bond; the fire of persecution cannot burn the link; the hammer of hell cannot break the chain. You are secure; that voice which called you at first, shall call you yet again from earth to heaven, from death’s dark gloom to immortality’s unuttered splendors. Rest assured, the heart of Him who has justified you—beats with infinite love towards you. You shall soon be with the glorified, where your portion is; you are only waiting here to be made fit for the inheritance, and that done, the wings of angels shall waft you far away, to the mount of peace, and joy, and blessedness, where, “Far from a world of grief and sin—with God eternally shut in,” you shall rest forever and ever!