For our Encouragement
During the present Coronavirus outbreak we need encouragement from the Lord. We trust that these items (some of which have been abbreviated) from Thomas Moor’s Counsels and Thoughts for the Spiritual Life of Believers will provide that. We hope to add a new item each day, apart from the Lord’s Day. The most recent item will be at the top.
■ March 28:
“Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter v. 7.
Child of God, care is a thing too heavy for you to carry, but remember, Jesus desires you to cast it on Himself, therefore bring the care and the cause of it to Him. No matter what the cause of your care and anxiety may be, leave it with Jesus, who is always thinking about you. Put the cause into His hands without reserve, and all trouble about it will cease.
Be content to live only in the day that is present, and for which alone grace is promised.
Whatever be your circumstances of trial, always remember that you belong to the Lord Jesus, and that He is pledged to care for you to the end of your pilgrimage; therefore tell Him everything that weighs upon your mind. By thus doing you make such things in a very special manner His concern and care; and be assured that He will never refuse the responsibility, nor let go the matter you have thus brought to Him, whatever may be your fears to the contrary. It more concerns Him than it concerns you, much as you may think it concerns you only.
The more literal rendering of the passage is – “Casting off upon Him all your anxious care; for it is a matter of concern to Him about you.”
Then, child of God, leave it all with Jesus.
■ March 27:
“I will trust and not be afraid.” – Isa. xii. 2.
Circumstances are the Lord’s opportunities and the Lord’s servants, for preparing the hearts of His people for a fuller revelation of Himself, and for fashioning them as special instruments for special service here or hereafter.
That future service will reveal how necessary was the previous training, and how needful was the rough east wind in its day, as well as the gentle south wind; and that even when He led His chosen ones through deep waters and through the fires, it was for a fashioning which nothing else could accomplish.
Moreover He always does it Himself; His own loving hand is always engaged in the work, therefore all must be well; and though ofttimes the believer may be perplexed, yet the language of his heart should ever be, “I will trust and not be afraid,” for the Lord is always deserving of the heart’s unreserved trust, even when to sense it may appear as if all things were against the believer’s progress and well-being.
In the darkest path, faith knows there is an eye watching that never slumbers; a hand working that never wearies; a heart loving that never changes; and that both eye, and hand, and heart are, through sovereign grace, engaged in completing the work that grace began.
■ March 26:
“Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, so that my feet did not slip.” – Ps. xviii. 36.
Sometimes the Lord Jesus, in leading His people, suits their feet to the rough and dangerous path. Then He makes their feet like hinds’ feet, so that they walk evenly in uneven places, or He maketh their shoes iron and brass, so that they walk uninjured over a rough and thorny road.
At other times He alters the path to suit their feet. Then the language of the believer is – “Thou hast set my feet in a large room” (Ps. xxxi. 8); “Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, so that my feet did not slip.”
How often a timid, trembling child of God has dreaded the path in prospect, and has suffered much in the anticipation of sore trial apparently unavoidable; but the dreaded time arrives, and lo! it is a way of peace – the clouds disperse, the threatened tempest arises not, the difficulties are as nothing, and the deliverance is so fully wrought that the trembling one gratefully can say, “He brought me forth into a large place” (Ps. cxviii. 5).
So true it is that those who trust in the Lord Jesus shall not want any good thing. “He that believeth in Him shall not be confounded.”
■ March 25:
“When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall he a light unto me.” – Micah vii. 8.
The light of earthly friendship is sweet; the light of communion between loving hearts is precious; the light of family and social joys is cheering. But friendship’s light may grow dim; the communion of loving hearts must one day, to the survivor, be but a thing of memory until the dawning of the eternal day; the light from family and social joys must also cease to be. But Jesus never dies, Jesus never changes, Jesus is never far away. That light never grows dim in its shining. The waves of tribulation may quench every other light, but they can never quench that. The sure changes produced by the passage of time can never alter that.
The light of all that is earthly is a fading light; one light only maintains its shining as ages pass, and that light is Jesus Himself. The light of this world is but the light of a dying spark; the light of life, the light of eternal day, is only found in Jesus.
Amidst the vicissitudes of life, believers too often turn for light to earthly sources, but he looks not high enough for light to guide his steps, and light to gladden his heart, who looks lower than Jesus. All things earthly are but for a season, but the light of heaven never ceases shining, for that light is “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.”
■ March 24:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains he carried into the midst of the sea.” – Ps. xlvi. 1, 2.
In the path of special trial and perplexity it is well sometimes to look at the worst, and calmly to expect the most unfavourable issue, as men express it, not with mere philosophic or moral effort, or with physical energy and a determined will, as men of the world can do, but with a Christian calmness, resignation, and assurance, which only those know who take all things from the hand of Christ, and who, because of the burden these things produce, take them back again to Him, to seek in Him their strength and comfort amidst all.
If the Lord leads the believer into rough and troubled waters, He is ever with him; and He leads him there that he may learn special lessons of grace, and enjoy special fellowship with Himself; lessons which could not so well have been learned, and fellowship that could not have been so fully realised elsewhere.
The child of God never walks alone in any path where the Lord may place him; though he may often walk lonely therein, through his mind being so occupied with its difficulties and trials, that he loses all thought of the Friend who walks with him, and who desires to make it the place of heavenly joys in loving manifestations of Himself to the soul.
Heart-experience is the result of believing thought, therefore that which most occupies our minds will have most influence on our hearts, either for hope or fear, joy or sorrow, peace or trouble, good or evil. Seeing then that, as a believer in Jesus, all hope and joy, all grace, all good of every kind, even all the fulness of God is centred in Christ for you; and that all is placed there by God your Father for your use; it follows that the sure way of full deliverance from and prevention of heart-trouble and distressing fears, is to look to Him as “a very present help in trouble” and to think of Him, and to think much of Him, and of His love for you, and of His ever-faithful and ever-watchful care over you, and make Him always your “refuge and strength.”
Remember it is He Himself who says – “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me.”
■ March 23:
“I will go down with thee into Egypt” – Gen. xlvi. 4.
Into Egypt – the place of spiritual darkness; yet the place to which His providence had appointed they should go and tarry for a season. But He would go with them, and be found of them that looked for Him. A true sanctuary would He there be to His trusting ones; so that they might have Bethel experiences even in the land of Egypt.
Believer in Jesus, you may in providence be guided by the Lord into a place of spiritual barrenness and darkness – a very Egypt in its surroundings; and may have to make it your place of abode for a season. Nevertheless, He will Himself be with you, and it will be your own fault if you do not enjoy spiritual prosperity even there.
How often the children of God cast upon their Egyptian surroundings the blame of their spiritual sloth and deadness, instead of upon themselves; forgetting that when the Lord removes a believer from earthly sources of spiritual instruction and fellowship, He is ever in an especial manner with that believer in the place of barrenness; ready to more than make up by His grace and love in direct fellowship and guidance, through the believer’s more close and personal dealing with Himself, what he has lost by change of place.
Sometimes the Lord’s special object in removing a believer from pleasant spiritual surroundings and pleasant spiritual fellowships, either by affliction or change of abode, may be that He intends more than ever to be the all of that believer, through enforced closer personal dealings with Himself.
Again, the Lord may lead a believer into Egyptian surroundings for some special service there, and to bear faithful testimony for His name in the midst of the surrounding darkness.
Whatever may be the secondary causes of our removal, it is well in all to see the hand of the Lord; and to know of a truth that His object is ever the truest good of His beloved ones, and that He will never fail them in any place whither they may go, for He hath said: “I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest” (Genesis xxviii. 15).
Bayhead, Isle of North Uist, HS6 5ED.
■ Sabbath Services: 12.00noon & 6.00pm
■ Prayer Meeting: Thursday 3.00pm
Rev. David M. Blunt, 17 Knockline, Isle of North Uist,
HS6 5DT (U.K.).
Tel. 01876 510305 or Mob. 07881560937
We are a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).