“And I will establish My covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” -Genesis 17:7
O Lord, Thou hast made a covenant with me, Thy servant, in Christ Jesus my Lord; and now, I beseech Thee, let my children be included in its gracious provisions. Permit me to believe this promise as made to me as well as to Abraham. I know that my children are born in sin and shapen in iniquity, even as those of other men; therefore, I ask nothing on the ground of their birth, for well l know that “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” and nothing more. Lord, make them to be born under Thy covenant of grace by Thy Holy Spirit!
I pray for my descendants throughout all generations. Be Thou their God as Thou art mine. My highest honor is that Thou hast permitted me to serve Thee; may my offspring serve Thee in all years to come. O God of Abraham, be the God of his Isaac! O God of Hannah, accept her Samuel!
If, Lord, Thou hast favored me in my family, I pray Thee remember other households of Thy people which remain unblest. Be the God of all the families of Israel. Let not one of those who fear Thy name be tried with a godless and wicked household, for Thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
[from Faith’s Checkbook by Charles H. Spurgeon]
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” -Hosea 2:14
The goodness of God sees us allured by sin, and it resolves to try upon us the more powerful allurements of love. Do we not remember when the Lover of our souls first cast a spell upon us and charmed us away from the fascinations of the world! He will do this again and again whenever He sees us likely to be ensnared by evil.
He promises to draw us apart, for there He can best deal with us, and this separated place is not to be a paradise, but a wilderness, since in such a place there will be nothing to take of our attention from our God. In the deserts of affliction the presence of the Lord becomes everything to us, and we prize His company beyond any value which we set upon it when we sat under our own vine and fig tree in the society of our fellows. Solitude and affliction bring more to themselves and to their heavenly Father than any other means.
When thus allured and secluded the Lord has choice things to say to us for our comfort. He “speaks to our heart,” as the original has it. Oh, that at this we may have this promise explained in our experience! Allured by love, separated by trial, and comforted by the Spirit of truth, may we know the Lord and sing for joy!
[from Faith’s Checkbook by Charles H. Spurgeon]
“And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on My Name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” -Zechariah 13:9
Grace transmutes us into precious metal, and then the fire and the furnace follows as a necessary consequence. Do we start at this? Would we sooner be accounted worthless, that we might enjoy repose, like the stones of the field! This would be to choose the viler part — like Esau, to take the pottage and give up the covenant portion. No, Lord; we will gladly be cast into the furnace rather than be cast out from Thy presence!
The fire only refines; it does not destroy. We are to be brought through the fire, not left in it. The Lord values His people as silver, and therefore He is at pains to purge away their dross. If we are wise, we shall rather welcome the refining process than decline it. Our prayer will be that our alloy may be taken from us rather than that we should be withdrawn from the crucible.
O Lord, Thou triest us indeed! We are ready to melt under the fierceness of the flame. Still, this is Thy way, and Thy way is the best. Sustain us under the trial and complete the process of our purifying, and we will be Thine forever and ever.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” -James 1:12
Yes, he is blessed while he is enduring the trial. No eye can see this till he has been anointed with heavenly eye salve. But he must endure it and neither rebel against God nor turn aside from his integrity. He is blessed who has gone through the fire and has not been consumed as a counterfeit.
When the test is over, then comes the hallmark of divine approval—”the crown of life.” As if the Lord said, “Let him live; he has been weighed in the balances, and he is not found wanting.” Life is the reward: not mere being, but holy, happy, true existence, the realization of the divine purpose concerning us. Already a higher form of spiritual life and enjoyment crowns those who have safely passed through fiercest trials of faith and love.
The Lord hath promised the crown of life to those who love Him. Only lovers of the Lord will hold out in the hour of trial; the rest will either sink or sulk, or slink back to the world. Come, my heart, dost thou love thy Lord? Truly? Deeply? Wholly? Then that love will be tried; but many waters will not quench it, neither will the Roods drown it, Lord, let Thy love nourish mine to the end.
[from Faith’s Checkbook by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, September 15 entry]