Saturday, December 19, 2015

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.  Psalms 119:50

     In some respects the same event happens to us all; to good men, to great men, to well-instructed men, as well as to the wicked, the obscure, and the ignorant.  Each of these can speak of "my affliction."  "The heart knoweth his own bitterness." Prov. xiv. 10.
     It is a grand matter when "my affliction" is in each case balanced by "my comfort."  It was so in David's case, and he is a fair representative of all believers.  How is it with each one of our hearers?

I.  Believers have their peculiar comfort.  Each tried child of God can say, "This is my comfort."

1.  This, as different from others.  Worldly men get their drops of comfort from such sources as they prefer; but the godly man looks to his experience of the Word, and says, "This is my comfort." Ps. iv. 6.

2.  This, as understanding what it is.  He knew his consolation as well as he knew his tribulation.  He was not like Hagar, who could not see the well which was so near her. Gen. xxi. 19.

3.  This, as having it near at hand.  He does not say that, as if he pointed it out in the distance; but this, as grasping it.

4.  This, as pleading in prayer that which he had enjoyed; urging upon the Lord the mercy already received.

II.  That comfort comes from a peculiar source.  "Thy word hath quickened me."

1.  In part it is outward. 
     The word of God, full of promises, is our comfort.  Rom. xv. 4.
     The word of God, full of records of his goodness, is the confirmation of our confidence.  Ps. lxxvii. 5-10.
     The word of God, full of power, is our strength.  Eccles. viii. 4.

2.  In part it is inward.  "Thy word hath quickened me."
     In past experience he had felt the power of the word in raising him:
            Into life from death.  Ps. cxvi. 8.
            Into energy from lethargy.  Cant. vi. 12.
            Into higher life from lower.  Ps. cxix. 67.
            In all things it had been a source of quickening to him.
            In present experience he was then feeling its power in making
                    His mind less worldly.
                    His heart more prayerful.
                    His spirit more tender.
                    His faith more simple.

If the word has done and is doing all this, we may expect it to do more, and to magnify its power in our complete rescue.

 III.  That comfort is valuable under peculiar trials.
1.  Hope deferred.  Study the context.  "Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope" (verse 49).  Quickening enables us to hope on.

2.  Trial endured (verse 50).  Comfort is most needed in trouble, and there is no comfort like quickening.

3.  Scorn suffered.  "The proud have had me greatly in derision" (verse 51).  We care nothing for mockers when we are lively in spiritual things.

4.  Sin of others.  "Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked" (verse 53).  More grace will enable us to bear up under abounding sin.

5.  Changes.  Read carefully verse 54.  The Bible has a song for all seasons and a psalm for all places.

6.  Darkness; "in the night" (verse 55).  There is no night-light like the Word, enlightening and enlivening the heart.

IV.  That the form of our comfort is a test of character.

1.  Some look to wealth; when their corn and their wine are increased, they say, "This is my comfort."  They mind the main chance; they are worldly.  Luke xii. 19.

2.  Some seek to dreams and visions, omens and fancies, impressions and presentiments; they are superstitious.

3.  Some run to sin, drink, gaming, worldly company, dissipation, opium; they are wicked.

4.  Some resort to their fellow-men for advice and assistance; they are unwise, and will be disappointed.  Jer. xvii. 5.
    What is your comfort?
    Has this blessed volume quickened you?
    If so, look to it under all trials, for it will never fail you.
                                                                 C. H. Spurgeon

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