Better Farther On

Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more (Nahum 1:12).

There is a limit to affliction. God sends it, and God removes it. Do you sigh and say, “When will the end be?” Remember that our griefs will surely and finally end when this poor earthly life is over, Let us quietly wait and patiently endure the will of the LORD till He cometh.

Meanwhile, our Father in heaven takes away the rod when His design in using it is fully served. When He has whipped away our folly, there will be no more strokes. Or, if the affliction is sent for testing us, that our graces may glorify God, it will end when the LORD has made us bear witness to His praise. We would not wish the affliction to depart till God has gotten out of us all the honor which we can possibly yield Him.

There may today be “a great calm.” Who knows how soon those raging billows will give place to a sea of glass, and the sea birds sit on the gentle waves? After long tribulation the Rail is hung up, and the wheat rests in the garner. We may, before many hours are past, be just as happy as now we are sorrowful. It is not hard for the LORD to turn night into day. He that sends the clouds can as easily clear the skies. Let us be of good cheer. It is better on before. Let us sing hallelujah by anticipation.

God Always Hears

My God will hear me (Micah 7:7).

Friends may be unfaithful, but the LORD will not turn away from the gracious soul; on the contrary, He will hear all its desires. The prophet says, “Keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. A man’s enemies are the men of his own house.” This is a wretched state of affairs; but even in such a case the Best Friend remains true, and we may tell Him all our grief.

Our wisdom is to look unto the LORD and not to quarrel with men or women. If our loving appeals are disregarded by our relatives, let us wait upon the God of our salvation, for He will hear us- He will hear us all the more because of the unkindness and oppression of others, and we shall soon have reason to cry, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy!”

Because God is the living God, He can hear; because He is a loving God, He will hear; because He is our covenant God, He has bound Him- self to hear us. If we can each one speak of Him as “My God,” we may with absolute certainty say, “My God will hear me.” Come, then, O bleeding heart, and let thy sorrows tell themselves out to the LORD thy God! I will bow the knee in secret and inwardly whisper, “My God will hear me.”

A Heavenly Escort

And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest (Genesis 28:15).

Do we need journeying mercies? Here are choice ones — God’s presence and preservation, In all places we need both of these, and in all places we shall have them if we go at the call of duty, and not merely according to our own fancy. Why should we look upon removal to another country as a sorrowful necessity when it is laid upon us by the divine will? In all lands the believer is equally a pilgrim and a stranger; and yet in every region the LORD is His dwelling place, even as He has been to His saints in all generations. We may miss the protection of an earthly monarch, but when God says, “I will keep thee,” we are in no real danger. This is a blessed passport for a traveler and a heavenly escort for an emigrant.

Jacob had never left his father’s room before; he had been a mother’s boy and not an adventurer tike his brother. Yet he went abroad, and God went with him. He had little luggage and no attendants; yet no prince ever journeyed with a nobler bodyguard. Even while he slept in the open field, angels watched over him, and the LORD God spoke to him. If the LORD bids us go, let us say with our LORD Jesus, “Arise, let us go hence.”

Obedience Brings Blessing

Observe and hear all these words, which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God (Deuteronomy 12:28).

Though salvation is not by the works of the law, yet the blessings which are promised to obedience are not denied to the faithful servants of God. The curses our LORD took away when He was made a curse for us, but no clause of blessing has been abrogated.

We are to note and listen to the revealed will of the LORD, giving our attention not to portions of it but to “all these words.” There must be no picking and choosing but an impartial respect to all that God has commanded. This is the road of blessedness for the Father and for His children. The LORD’s blessing is upon His chosen to the third and fourth generation. If they walk uprightly before Him, He will make all men know that they are a seed which the LORD has blessed. No blessing can come to us or ours through dishonesty or double dealing. The ways of worldly conformity and unholiness cannot bring good to us or ours. It will go well with us when we go well before God. If integrity does not make us prosper, knavery will not. That which gives pleasure to God will bring pleasure to us.

Tears Shall Cease

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (Revelation 21:4).

Yes, we shall carne to this if we are believers. Sorrow shalt cease, and tears shall be wiped away. This is the world of weeping, but it passes away. There shall be a new heaven and a new earth, so says the first verse of this chapter; and therefore there will be nothing to weep over concerning the Fall and its consequent miseries. Read the second verse and note how it speaks of the bride and her marriage. The Lamb’s wedding is a time for boundless pleasure, and tears would be out of place. The third verse says that God Himself will dwell among men; and surely at His right hand there are pleasures forevermore, and tears can no longer flow.

What will our state be when there will be no more sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain? This will be more glorious than we can as yet imagine. O eyes that are red with weeping, cease your scalding flow, for in a little while ye shall know no more tears! None can wipe tears away like the God of love, but He is coming to do it. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Come, LORD, and tarry not; for now both men and women must weep!