(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)
"What I am doing you do not understand now--but afterward you will understand!" John 13:7
Above all, I would say to the Christian: Never distrust the kindness, the love, the wisdom and faithfulness of your Savior--but confide in Him who has promised that all things shall work together for your good. Though you may not now know what He is doing--you shall know hereafter. You will see the reason for . . .
all the trials and temptations,
all the dark and comfortless hours,
all the distressing doubts and fears,
all the long and tedious conflicts with which you are now exercised.
You will be convinced that not a sigh, not a tear, not a single uneasy thought was ever allotted to you--without some wise and gracious design.
Say not, then, like Jacob of old, "All these things are against me!"
Say not, like David, "I shall one day perish by the hand of Saul!"
For all these things are for your good--and you shall never perish, neither shall any pluck you out of Christ's hand!
Why should you, who are sons of the King of Heaven--be lean and discontented from day to day? Remember that you are the heir of God and joint heir with Christ--of an incorruptible, eternal, and unfading inheritance!
Go to Jesus, the compassionate Savior of sinners, who heals the broken in heart, who gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart. Go, I say, to Him!
Tell Him all your griefs and sorrows!
Tell Him that your souls cleave to the dust!
Tell Him that iniquities, doubts, and fears prevail against you!
Tell Him that you are poor and miserable and wretched and blind and naked.
Go to His mercy-seat, where He sits as a merciful High Priest. Go and embrace His feet, lay open your whole hearts--and you will find Him infinitely more gracious than you can conceive; infinitely more willing to grant your requests, than you are to make them. He is love itself--it is His very nature to pity.
Have you a hard heart? Carry it to Him--and He will soften it.
Have you a blind mind? Carry it to Him--and He will enlighten it.
Are you oppressed with a load of guilt? Carry it to Him--and He will remove it.
Are you defiled and polluted? He will wash you in His own blood.
Have you backslidden? "Turn unto Me," says He, "O backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings."
How great are the privileges which result from an ability to say, "Christ is mine!"
If Christ is yours--then all that He possesses is yours!
His power is yours--to defend you!
His wisdom and knowledge are yours--to guide you!
His righteousness is yours--to justify you!
His Spirit and grace are yours--to sanctify you!
His Heaven is yours--to receive you!
You will never live happily or usefully--until you can feel that Christ, and all that He possesses, are yours--and learn to come and take them as your own!
~ ~ ~ ~