‘I, even I, am He who comforts you’ (Isaiah 51:12)
The Lord’s people are often low and despondent; they do not live up to their privileges; the things all around make too much impression, because they do not sufficiently realise eternal things.
But Jehovah is their COMFORTER: as such He presents Himself to us this morning. He is the God of all comfort. He comforts those who are cast down. To Him alone we must look for comfort. Looking to other things for what God promises actually dishonours Him; and at such times, those earthly things may well ask, “Am I in God’s place?”
Our God comforts us by His Son, whom He has given to us; by His Holy Spirit, which He pours out upon us; by His word, in which He speaks to us; by His ordinances, in which He meets with us; and by His providence, when He appears for us.
Let us look to God, then, as the author and giver of all comfort, let us plead with Him to comfort us according to His word, and let us be suspicious of comfort which does not come from Him, and lead to Him. He must be the centre to which we always focus, and the circumferences within which we live, move and have our being.
Jesus, all our consolations
Flow from Thee, the sovereign good;
Love and faith, and hope, and patience,
All are purchased by Thy blood.
Now thy richest grace impart,
Sanctify and fill my heart.
THE DAILY REMEMBRANCER by James Smith (1802-1862)
‘In the church things got worse and worse, for a party set all order at defiance, and having lost all sense of propriety, were determined to stick by the place for the sense of the endowments. The aisles of the chapel were full, even on Lord’s day mornings, and souls were still converted. The church had increased, nearly seven-fold in the seven years; a majority of three-fourths of the members could be obtained, and yet such was the turbulent, despotic, and violent spirit displayed by a few, that to maintain peace and order was impossible.
No one can tell what I endured; at length I felt my nerves were shaken, my health began to be affected, and I determined, let the consequences be what they might, I would resign my connection with the church. I did so, preached my farewell sermon to a crowd which filled not only the chapel, but the greater part of the graveyard, from John 19:31. “Arise, let us go hence.”’