Two great enemies the Christian has to face are doubt and despair. We can all come to the point in our life that we begin to question the solidity of our footing and feel things giving way under us.
Despite the firm foundation that God has laid down in Christ Jesus and regardless of the great and precious promises He has given, we “Peter like” sink in our perception of our circumstances and can see nothing but hopelessness.
The fault does not lie in our blessed Saviour. He has done all to blaze and signpost the way before us. He has put in place all the necessary helps and safeguards to bring us through all that befalls and besets us.
He has given us the Holy Spirit to indwell, comfort and intercede: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26
He has given us the Bible as our constant resort in all circumstances and at all times.
He has set up the Church as a spiritual “hospital” to help us to health and provide support and comfort in company with our fellow believers.
Yet despite all this, we see many faltering in the way.
If only they would turn to them, the hopeless and despairing would find that the whole field of Scripture is replete with great and precious promises. It is full of words of encouragement and calls to persevere.
The mists and fogs that Satan stirs up to hide our Lord and the means of His grace from our sight, and we give way to fear and doubt.
The Bible becomes a closed book to us and the voice of prayer is replaced by moans and groans. We close ourselves up from the only means by which help can reach us.
To some of our Brethren, instead of being objects of their compassion, we may be damps and drains on their spiritual highs and ecstasies. To Jesus Christ however, we remain lambs in need comfort and carrying back to the fold.
Even though our tear-filled eyes are blinded so that we cannot see them, the outstretched arms of Jesus are held out to us and will not let us go.
The tragedy of relinquishing of spiritual hope and a giving in to despair is that it turns us away and releases our grip on the only one who can help and deliver us. Also it isolates us from the body of Christ and the support of people who have felt as we felt and who have been delivered from like peril.
Despair is sinful because it treats our Lord Jesus Christ and His promises to us, as if they were inadequate to meet our needs in our extremity. It doubts the truth of His Word and His readiness to assist us in any circumstance.
Like Bunyan’s “Slough of Despond” the “Lord of the Way” has provided steps out of the mire if only we had eyes to see them.
When in time of trial, sorrow and temptation, let us not cast away those means and helps which God has provided for our support and deliverance.
Let us not cease from prayer or relinquish faith.
Let us cling to our precious Saviour and to His faithful people.
May we all place our hope in God, when all other hopes fail.
When a member of a 24/7 gymnasium wants to enter in, out of normal manned hours, they require what is called a “fob” which they need to swipe before the door will open for them. Anyone else who does not have one, whether a member or not cannot open the door.
(Some people will push in when a member with a fob opens the door, but the gym owners frown on this.)
When we seek to obtain entrance into heaven, to have been merely a member of the Church or be a Christian in mere profession and name only, will not be enough.
Rather we will need to be genuine believers and followers of Christ and members of His body.
We will not be able to enter God’s presence on anyone else’s coat-tails but will need the garment of Christ’s righteousness and a vital relationship with Him to qualify for admittance to joys forevermore.
The Thin Man!
One of the great romantic and comedic pairings of the late 30’s and 40’ was between William Powell and Myrna Loy, most remarkably in “The Thin man” series.
The banter, wit and rapport between these two lit up the screen in 14 films. They worked so well together that some people concluded that they were actually married to each other, they were not.
Myrna Loy was asked about the possibility of a relationship with Powell. She said it would have spoiled everything and they probably would have fought all the time.
Considering she was married four times, she did not seem to hold marriage in very high esteem.
Mankind may be fickle and faithless in their relationships but our Lord Jesus Christ is not. Those He brings into relation with Himself are cherished and loved to the end. Those who to human eyes fall away from Christ and depart forever were never truly His.
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”