The upright love thee — Song 1:4
Believers love Jesus with a deeper affection than they dare to give to any other being. They would sooner lose father and mother than part with Christ. They hold all earthly comforts with a loose hand but they carry Him fast locked in their hearts. They voluntarily deny themselves for His sake but they cannot be driven to deny Him. It is scant love which the fire of persecution can dry up; the true believer’s love is a deeper stream than this. Men have labored to divide the faithful from their Master but their attempts have been fruitless in every age. Neither crowns of honor, now frowns of anger—have untied this more than Gordian knot. This is no passing attachment which the world’s power may at length dissolve. Neither man nor devil have found a key which opens this lock. Never has the craft of Satan been more futile, than when he has exercised it in seeking to rend in sunder this union of two divinely-welded hearts.
It is written, and nothing can blot out the sentence, “The upright love You.” The intensity of the love of the upright, however, is not so much to be judged by what it appears—as by what the upright long for. It is our daily lament that we cannot love enough. Would that our hearts were capable of holding more, and reaching further.
Alas! our longest reach is but a span of love, and our affection is but as a drop of a bucket compared with His deserts. Measure our love by our intentions, and it is high indeed; ‘tis thus, we trust, our Lord does judge of it. Oh, that we could give all the love in all hearts in one great mass, a gathering together of all loves to Him who is altogether lovely!
Satan hindered us. — 1 Thess 2:18
Since the first hour in which goodness came into conflict with evil, it has never ceased to be true in spiritual experience, that Satan hinders us. From all points of the compass, all along the line of battle, in the vanguard and in the rear, at the dawn of day and in the midnight hour—Satan hinders us. If we toil in the field—he seeks to break the ploughshare; if we build the wall—he labors to cast down the stones; if we would serve God in suffering or in conflict—everywhere Satan hinders us.
He hinders us when we are first coming to Jesus Christ. Fierce conflicts we had with Satan when we first looked to the cross and lived. Now that we are saved, he endeavors to hinder the completeness of our holy character. You may be congratulating yourself, “I have hitherto walked consistently; no man can challenge my integrity.” Beware of boasting, for your virtue will yet be tried; Satan will direct his engines against that very virtue for which you are the most famous. If you have been hitherto a firm believer—your faith will before long be attacked. If you have been as meek as Moses—expect to be tempted to speak unadvisedly with your lips. The birds will peck at your ripest fruit, and the wild boar will dash his tusks at your choicest vines.
Satan is sure to hinder us when we are earnest in prayer. He hinders our importunity, and weakens our faith in order that, if possible, we may miss the blessing. Nor is Satan less vigilant in obstructing Christian work. There was never a revival of religion, without a revival of his opposition. As soon as Ezra and Nehemiah begin to labor, Sanballat and Tobiah are stirred up to hinder them. What then? We are not alarmed because Satan hinders us, for it is a proof that we are on the Lord’s side, and are doing the Lord’s work, and in His strength we shall win the victory, and triumph over our adversary!