I am with you alway. — Matt 28:20
It is well that there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us. It is well that there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life. O my soul, do not set your affections upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures but set your heart upon Him who abides forever faithful to you. Do not build your house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world but found your hopes upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure!
My soul, I charge you—lay up your treasure in the only secure cabinet; store your jewels where you can never lose them. Put your all in Christ; set all your affections on His person, all your hope in His merit, all your trust in His efficacious blood, all your joy in His presence and so you may laugh at loss, and defy destruction.
Remember that all the flowers in the world’s garden wither and die and the day comes when nothing will be left but the black, cold earth. Death’s black extinguisher must soon put out your candle. Oh! how sweet to have sunlight—when the candle is gone! The dark flood must soon roll between you and all you have! So wed your heart to Him who will never leave you. Trust yourself with Him who will go with you through the black and surging current of death’s stream, and who will land you safely on the celestial shore, and make you sit with Him in heavenly places forever.
Go, sorrowing son of affliction—tell your secret troubles to the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Trust all your concerns with Him—who never can be taken from you, who will never leave you, and who will never let you leave Him, even “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” “I am with you always,” is enough for my soul to live upon—though all others forsake me!
Only be thou strong and very courageous. — Josh 1:7
Our God’s tender love for His servants makes Him concerned for the state of their inward feelings. He desires them to be of good courage. Some esteem it a small thing for a believer to be vexed with doubts and fears but God does not think so. From this text, it is plain that our Master would not have us entangled with fears. He would have us without worry, without doubt, without cowardice. Our Master does not think so lightly of our unbelief as we do. When we are desponding we are subject to a grievous malady, not to be trifled with but to be carried at once to the beloved Physician. Our Lord does not like to see our countenance sad.
It was a law of Ahasuerus that no one could come into the king’s court dressed in mourning—this is not the law of the King of kings, for we may come mourning as we are; but still He would have us put off the garment of heaviness, and put on the garment of praise, for there is much reason to rejoice.
The Christian man ought to be of a courageous spirit, in order that he may glorify the Lord by enduring trials in an heroic manner. If he is fearful and fainthearted, it will dishonor his God. Besides, what a bad example it is! This disease of doubtfulness and discouragement is an epidemic which soon spreads among the Lord’s flock. One downcast believer—makes twenty souls sad. Moreover, unless your courage is kept up—Satan will be too much for you. Let your spirit be joyful in God your Savior, the joy of the Lord shall be your strength, and no fiend of hell shall make headway against you but cowardice throws down the banner.
Moreover, labor is light to a man of cheerful spirit; and success follows upon cheerfulness. The man who toils, rejoicing in his God, believing with all his heart—has success guaranteed. He who sows in hope—shall reap in joy. Therefore, dear reader, “be strong, and very courageous.”