Judge not the issue by what you feel, but by what God promises. And in case, therefore, God does not show you His ancient love presently or easily, yet knock again, and provoke your heart to outbelieve all reasonings of fear and corruption. As David, Psalm 42:11, Why are thou cast down, O my soul?, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him, who is the help of my countenance, and my God. O my God, said he in verse 6 of that Psalm, my soul is cast down within me! (no question, but for the absence of God's favor). Verse 9, My Rock, why hast Thou forgotten me? Therefore (said he) will I remember Thee.
"Remember Him? O David, what encouragements do you have so to do? Your Rock seems to forget you, and all His waves and billows are gone over you. You are in a tossed and forgotten condition, and yet you say, I will remember Thee."
No, see verse 8, Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
"It is true, these afflictions and sorrows are upon me, and God seems to forget me for the present, yet I will remember Him. I know He thinks on me; He has lovingkindness, and He will command it. He can show it when He pleases. I shall assuredly have it, perhaps in the daytime, perhaps in the nighttime; and, therefore, day and night will I seek Him for His lovingkindness. I will remember Him."
But how may one support himself in the interims of this suspension of divine favor? Can one be good who is thus? Or will God do good, or does He think any good of such a one? I answer, you may support yourselves thus:
By remembering the days of old, Psalms 77:7, Will the Lord cast off forever, and will He be favorable no more? 9. Hath God forgotten to be gracious? This is my infirmity. For me thus to conclude that God will not be favorable and gracious unto me because I feel Him not so, this is my weakness and sinful error; but how, then, will you support yourself? See verse 10, I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. 11. I will remember Thy wonders of old; and, assuredly, the remembrance of what God has done is able to support us with a confident expectation of what God will yet do for us.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Not What You Feel, But What God Promises
Obadiah Sedgwick, The Doubting Believer, pp. 137-138: