And who comforteth like him? Go to some poor, melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises, and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he is like the deaf adder, he listens not to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and comfort him as you may, it will be only a note or two of mournful resignation that you will get from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to his child, let him lift up his countenance, and the mourner's eyes glisten with hope. Do you not hear him sing-
"'Tis paradise, if thou art here; If thou depart, 'tis hell?"
You could not have cheered him: but the Lord has done it; "He is the God of all comfort." There is no balm in Gilead, but there is balm in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-rophi. It is marvellous how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is the gold beater, and can hammer that promise out for whole weeks. So, then, poor Christian, thou needest not sit down in despair. Go to the Comforter, and ask him to give thee consolation. Thou art a poor dry well. You have heard it said, that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all, and then you will get water, and so, Christian, when thou art dry, go to God, ask him to shed abroad his joy in thy heart, and then thy joy shall be full. Do not go to earthly acquaintances, for you will find them Job's comforters after all; but go first and foremost to thy "God, that comforteth those that are cast down," and you will soon say, "In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul."
A holy character does not avert temptation-Jesus was tempted. When Satan tempts us, his sparks fall upon tinder; but in Christ's case, it was like striking sparks on water; yet the enemy continued his evil work. Now, if the devil goes on striking when there is no result, how much more will he do it when he knows what inflammable stuff our hearts are made of. Though you become greatly sanctified by the Holy Ghost, expect that the great dog of hell will bark at you still. In the haunts of men we expect to be tempted, but even seclusion will not guard us from the same trial. Jesus Christ was led away from human society into the wilderness, and was tempted of the devil. Solitude has its charms and its benefits, and may be useful in checking the lust of the eye and the pride of life; but the devil will follow us into the most lovely retreats. Do not suppose that it is only the worldly-minded who have dreadful thoughts and blasphemous temptations, for even spiritual-minded persons endure the same; and in the holiest position we may suffer the darkest temptation. The utmost consecration of spirit will not insure you against Satanic temptation. Christ was consecrated through and through. It was his meat and drink to do the will of him that sent him: and yet he was tempted! Your hearts may glow with a seraphic flame of love to Jesus, and yet the devil will try to bring you down to Laodicean lukewarmness. If you will tell me when God permits a Christian to lay aside his armour, I will tell you when Satan has left off temptation. Like the old knights in war time, we must sleep with helmet and breastplate buckled on, for the arch-deceiver will seize our first unguarded hour to make us his prey. The Lord keep us watchful in all seasons, and give us a final escape from the jaw of the lion and the paw of the bear.
Whenever you see the scriptural phrase "This is the will of God," you know for sure that's God's will. You also know that to disobey is to break His Word. Other clear indications of His leading are the precepts and principles in the Scripture.
The Viral Texts project at Northeastern University in Boston is studying how printed content in the 1800s spread through newspapers—the social media network of that day. If an article was reprinted 50 times or more ...
I walked into the kitchen to find my daughter seconds away from intense pain. She had poked her little finger in the space where two parts of a folding door were hinged together. With her free hand, she was about to clos ...
IN CHINA, Eric Liddell asked his students if they believed Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. When they said they did, he would say “let’s add it on to the end of the Apostles Creed and when you finish saying the Apostles Creed say, ‘I believe in the Sermon on the Mount’.” This was more than rhetoric with him. After the Japanese incarcerated him in a detention camp, he prayed for them. Had not Christ said “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you?” He challenged fellow-prisoners to pray for the Japanese, too. This was in keeping with his entire adult life.
Born the son of missionaries, Liddell was a highly athletic rugby star and running champion while studying for the ministry in Scotland. Eventually his swift feet took him to the 1924 Olympics in Paris, where he set a world record in the four hundred meters. His refusal to run on Sunday drew world attention to his faith. After his victory, a friend says the two of them took a pair of American girls to a Tango Tea Dance.
Following the Olympics, he completed his education and became a missionary in China, where he met and married his wife Florence. He sent her and their daughters to safety in Canada after the Japanese invaded China, but remained himself in danger from Chinese Communists and Japanese invaders. He and Kenneth McAll learned to trust God implicitly for their safety. When McAll was offered a pistol to protect himself against bandits, Eric shouted, “Don’t touch it! If you have that in your pocket you will depend on it rather than God and I would refuse to travel with you.”
The Japanese incarcerated foreigners in concentration camps. There Eric worked selflessly as a teacher, prisoner representative, and volunteer toting loads for weaker prisoners. Even after he developed headaches from a massive brain tumor, he never complained. Finally he was assigned to one of the camp’s hospital beds.
He often wrote to Florence and his three girls, the youngest of whom he had never seen. In a letter near the end of his life, he told Florence he had suffered a “slight nervous breakdown” but assured her he was much better after a month in hospital. “Special love to you and the children,” he added. He then turned to his friend Annie Buchan and said, “It’s full surrender” before drifting into a coma from which he never recovered.
Eric Liddell died on this day, 21 February 1945. Everyone in the camp mourned, for by then his infectious smile and concern for others were widely known. Norman Cliff, one of the young men who witnessed Liddell’s life in the prison camp, believes the champion runner would have taken no credit for his life, but would have said instead, “When you speak of me, give the glory to my master, Jesus Christ.”
Other Notable Events
The Vatican announces that Father Damien, famed for his work with lepers on Hawaii, will be canonized.
Appointment of Bonaventure Dlamini, of the Franciscan Familiars of St. Joseph, as South Africa’s first black Catholic bishop.
Death of Ekvtime Takaishvili, a Georgian Orthodox historian and archaeologist who recovered lost information on the history of Georgia, founded a democratic party in his country and suffered in exile under the Soviets, while preserving a large and valuable collection of artifacts relating to Georgian history. The Georgian Orthodox Church will declare him a saint.
Walter Grand Taylor converts to Christianity in a hotel room. The conversion is brought on by his realization that his wife, who has just died, is already in heaven, while he is doomed. Twenty years later he will become head of the Pacific Garden Mission.
Queen Ranavalona II of Madagascar and her court convert to Christianity and are baptized.
Robert Southwell is hanged, drawn, and quartered. A Jesuit, he had lived secretly in London, providing priestly services for several years during the reign of Elizabeth I. After his capture he had undergone thirteen tortures.
Pierre Cauchon, bishop of Beauvais, begins his interrogation of Joan of Arc. She will eventually be condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake.
Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV sends a sneering letter to Hildebrand (Pope Gregory VII) who is in council. The bishops scream for the messenger’s death but Hildebrand shields the man with his own body.