“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His Name’s sake.” -1 John 2:12
Our forgiveness is based on His Name, not our works.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” -Psalm 42:5
Sometimes we get hopeless because we’re looking for hope in all the wrong places. Hope is only found in Christ. You will never be satisfied until your desire is for God and God alone.
“When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” -Psalm 42:4-5
God will give us more than we can handle, but never more than He can handle. He does this so we’ll depend on Him, that we may know Him in a greater way. -Josh Wilson (excerpts from Sunday Evening Sermon “Preaching the Gospel to Yourself When Your Soul is Downcast” from Psalms 42-43 – Listen)
A fair assurance this! It was no doubt based upon a promise, inwardly whispered in the psalmist’s heart, which he seized upon and enjoyed. Is my case like that of David? Am I depressed because the enemy affronts me? Are there multitudes against me and few on my side? Does unbelief bid me lie down and die in despair-a defeated, dishonored man? Do my enemies begin to dig my grave?
What then? Shall I yield to the whisper of fear, and give up the battle, and with it give up all hope? Far from it. There is life in me yet: “I shall not die.” Vigor will return and remove my weakness: “I shall live.” The Lord lives, and I shall live also. My mouth shall again be opened: “I shall declare the works of Jehovah.” Yes, and I shall speak of the present trouble as another instance of the wonder-working faithfulness and love of the Lord my God. Those who would gladly measure me for my coffin had better wait a bit, for “the Lord hath chastened me sore, but He hath not given me over unto death.” Glory be to His name forever! I am immortal till my work is done. Till the Lord wills it, no vault can close upon me.
[from Faith’s Checkbook by Charles H. Spurgeon]
Sunday Evening | Pastor Steve Wainright | Elisha’s Calling | 1 Kings 19:15-21
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” -Romans 15:4
God has a renewal program for when we get discouraged: get in the Word of God and fellowship with other believers.
“Sing, O barren.” –Isaiah 54:1
Though we have brought forth some fruit unto Christ, and have a joyful hope that we are “plants of his own right hand planting,” yet there are times when we feel very barren. Prayer is lifeless, love is cold, faith is weak, each grace in the garden of our heart languishes and droops. We are like flowers in the hot sun, requiring the refreshing shower. In such a condition what are we to do? The text is addressed to us in just such a state. “Sing, O barren, break forth and cry aloud.” But what can I sing about? I cannot talk about the present, and even the past looks full of barrenness. Ah! I can sing of Jesus Christ. I can talk of visits which the Redeemer has aforetimes paid to me; or if not of these, I can magnify the great love wherewith he loved his people when he came from the heights of heaven for their redemption. I will go to the cross again. Come, my soul, heavy laden thou wast once, and thou didst lose thy burden there. Go to Calvary again. Perhaps that very cross which gave thee life may give thee fruitfulness. What is my barrenness? It is the platform for his fruit-creating power. What is my desolation? It is the black setting for the sapphire of his everlasting love. I will go in poverty, I will go in helplessness, I will go in all my shame and backsliding, I will tell him that I am still his child, and in confidence in his faithful heart, even I, the barren one, will sing and cry aloud.
Sing, believer, for it will cheer thine own heart, and the hearts of other desolate ones. Sing on, for now that thou art really ashamed of being barren, thou wilt be fruitful soon; now that God makes thee loath to be without fruit he will soon cover thee with clusters. The experience of our barrenness is painful, but the Lord’s visitations are delightful. A sense of our own poverty drives us to Christ, and that is where we need to be, for in him is our fruit found.
[from Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening, August 28 evening entry]