Pastor’s Pen 01/01/2023

Pastor’s Pen 01/01/2023

I wanted to share with you the following except that was preached by James Smith. James Smith was a predecessor of Charles Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel in London from 1841 until 1850.

Grace Gems -Comfort For a New Year , “The Lord lives!”               2 Samuel 22:47

We live in trying times. The new year opens, as no new year   has opened to us of late. Our country is at war. Provisions are scant. The future, though concealed from our view, appears    to be hung with clouds. It is probable that there will be great changes. Many fears will be awakened. Many hearts will be wounded. The faith of many of the Lord’s people will be deeply tried. Satan will be busy. Our principles will be put to the test. But amidst all, we, as believers in Jesus, have one comfort, “The Lord lives!” There will be no change in him.

His Word will remain true, his throne will be unshaken, and his purposes rest undisturbed.

He will have his way in the whirlwind and storm, and make a path for himself in the deep waters. Yes, Jehovah is immutably the same, and he is our God. Ours by covenant engagement. Ours by promise and by oath. Ours in Jesus, his beloved Son. He is the object of our hope and love. His bosom will be our resting-place, his arm our defense, and his providence our friend. Unspeakable privilege! Unparalleled mercy! Jehovah, in all his greatness and glory, in all his goodness and grace, is our God. And as our God he ever lives, ever reigns, and performs all things for us. Here is then —  An Encouraging Fact, with which to enter upon a new year, “The Lord lives!” Friends may die, the nearest and dearest of our friends; and most probably some of them will die this year. Our relatives may die, the wife may lose her husband, the     husband may lose his wife, parents may lose their children.   Oh, how many wives will be left widows, and children orphans, this year! But, the Lord lives, and that should comfort us under all. Church members may die, the most holy, the most useful, those upon whom the prosperity of the church seems to      depend; but the Lord can do without any of them, and carry   on his cause in their absence, as well as by their help. Ministers may die, the most exemplary, and the most successful. Many   of our church leaders will be taken home this year. Many of   our promising young men may be called away likewise.

Many a pulpit will be vacated, and many a church will be left without a pastor — but the Great Shepherd lives, and his church is safe, his cause must go on. He is not dependent upon men, or ministers, to carry on his cause — and he often proves this to us, by removing early those who promise most. He can raise up any number and any kind of ministers he chooses; and, blessed be his name, he will raise up all that he needs.  If, therefore, during this year, dear friends are called away, if our most valuable relatives are taken home, if the active members of our churches are removed, or even if our preachers and pastors die — let us remember, “The Lord lives!” This will give us living comfort amidst dying circumstances, and dying friends. Our gourds may wither, our idols may be torn from us — but “the Lord lives!” and living — he loves all his people. His dispensations may change — but his love never. Fixed on his people in past     eternity — fixed on his people as viewed in Jesus — it remains    immutably the same. Everything outside of God will change; but his love to his people is himself loving them; it is his nature, it is himself; and he is immutably the same.  I may lose the affection of my fellow-man — but God will still love me; for he rests in his love. Whom he loves — he loves to the end. While he lives — he loves his people; and as he ever lives — he  ever loves.  Oh, consoling truth, amidst all the toils, trials, troubles, and temptations of the coming year — the living God will continue to love me! Love me infinitely! Love me so as to cause all things to work together for my good!  “The Lord lives!” and living takes an interest in all the affairs of his people. Having numbered the very hairs of their heads — he considers nothing too insignificant, nothing too trivial to interest him — if it affects them. Believer, your God will take an interest in your every-day affairs, and he wishes to hear from you in reference to them all.

Hence the direction, “In everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” He will look to all that concerns you, and desires to help you in every situation. He bids you cast all your cares upon him, assuring you that he cares for you. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  “The Lord lives!” and living, will listen to all the sighs, cries, groans, and prayers of his people. Not one will escape his notice. Each will touch his heart and awaken his sympathy. “I have heard,” said he of old, “the groanings of my people who are in Egypt, and I have come down to deliver them.” Yes, poor, tried, troubled Christian, your God will hear your cries, regard your prayers, fulfill his promises, and end all your   sorrows, by setting you before his face forever.              “The Lord lives!” and lives to fulfill his Word. His predictions shall all be made good. His promises shall all be performed. Creatures may break their word — but our God will never violate his. Every promise lies    before his eye, is engraved on his heart, and shall he fulfilled in the   experience of his people — to his own praise and glory. My poor tried brother, you may trust him. However rough your road. However severe your inward conflict. Yes, while floods of corruption are rolling through your soul, while Satan’s fiery darts are sticking fast in you, while the world is frowning, and even your fellow-Christians are looking coldly upon you, or standing aloof from you — you may trust him! “The Lord lives,” and lives to accomplish his purposes. Toward you,   they are gracious purposes. Trying they may be; beneficial they must be. They flow from his love. They bear the stamp of his wisdom. They were passed in Jesus. They are to issue in his glory.  “The Lord lives,” and lives to secure the glory of his own most holy name. “The Lord has made everything for his own purposes — even the wicked for a day of disaster.” He will get glory by all he does, by all he prevents, and by all he permits. When the mystery of redemption    is finished, we shall see that all his works praise him, and his saints   bless him. His work will appear to be honorable and glorious, and his righteousness will endure forever. His glory will be great in our     salvation. Sweet thought this: My God will get glory by me: by all my toils and troubles, by all my sadness and sorrows, by all my conflicts and conquests, by my weakness and strength, by my sighs and songs, by my life and my death! Let us then, my poor tried fellow-traveler, enter upon this new year, drawing encouragement and comfort from the fact, that “the Lord lives;” and try and sing with the Psalmist, “The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted!” We will now notice —


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