JANUARY 22

 

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD—Psa. 31: 24.

 

It would seem as though the Adversary at times attempts to discourage us by making us think that the trials and difficulties of the "narrow way" of sacrifice will be unavailing anyhow, and that we might as well give up. … And what course should we pursue at such a time? We should follow the example of our Lord, and seek the Father's face, anxious to know whether or not our interests are all right with Him; anxious for some assurances that while the world may hate us, and say all manner of evil against us falsely, we still have His approval; anxious for some fresh assurance that it will be well with us, that the Lord will grant us a part in the resurrection of the just—to life eternal.

 

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Those who hope in the Lord are those who rely upon His Word and Providence. Since God is on their side, they may be of good courage, however distressing their circumstances in life may be, realizing that these must all work for the strengthening of their characters in Christ's likeness. Let these considerations encourage and strengthen them in every good word and work unto all well-pleasing in the sight of Him who so kindly blesses them.

 

Parallel passages: Deut. 31: 23; Josh. 1: 5-9; 1Chron. 22: 13; 2Chron. 15: 7; 19: 11; 32: 7, 8; Psa. 25; 27; 31: 24; Ezek. 2: 6; 3: 9; John 16: 33; Rom. 8: 35-39; 1Cor. 16: 13; Eph. 1: 19; 3: 16; 6: 10; Col. 1: 11; 2Tim. 1: 7.

 

Questions: Have I been encouraged and strengthened this week? How was it accomplished or hindered? What resulted therefrom?

 

GOD'S ANVIL

 

PAIN'S furnace-heat within me quivers,

God's breath upon the flame doth blow,

And all my heart in anguish shivers,

And trembles at the fiery glow;

And yet I whisper, As God will!

And in His hottest fire hold still.

 

He comes and lays my heart all heated,

On the hard anvil, minded so

Into His own fair shape to beat it,

With the great hammer, blow on blow;

 And yet I whisper, As God will!

And at His heaviest blows hold still.

 

He takes my softened heart and beats it,

The sparks fly off at every blow;

He turns it o're and o're and heats it,

And lets it cool, and makes it glow;

And yet I whisper, As God will!

And in His mighty hands hold still.

 

Why should I murmur? For the sorrow

Thus only longer-lived would be;

It's end will come, and will, tomorrow,

When God has done His work in me;

So I say, trusting, As God will!

And trusting to the end, hold still.

 

He kindles, for my profit purely,

Affliction's glowing fiery brand,

And all His heaviest blows are surely

Inflicted by a master hand;

So I say, praying, As God will!

And hope in Him and suffer still.

 

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