“And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:16
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Peter 5:6-11
If God saves us, it will be a trying matter. All the way to heaven, we shall only get there by the skin of our teeth. We shall not go to heaven sailing along with sails swelling in the breeze, like sea birds with their fair white wings, but we shall proceed with sails torn to ribbons, with masts creaking, and the ship’s pumps at work both by night and day. We shall reach the city at the shutting of the gate, but not an hour before. O believer, thy Lord will bring thee safe to the end of thy pilgrimage; but mark, thou wilt never have one particle of strength to waste in wantonness upon the road. There will be enough to get thee up the hill Difficulty, but only enough then by climbing on your hands and knees. You will have strength enough to fight Apollyon, but when the battle is over your arm will have no strength remaining. Your trials will be so many, that if you had only one trial more, it would be like the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. But, nevertheless, though God’s love should thus try you all the journey through, your faith will bear the trying, for while God dashes you down to the earth with one hand in providence, he will lift you up with the other in grace. You will have consolation and affliction weighed out in equal degree, ounce for ounce, and grain for grain; you will be like the Israelite in the wilderness, if you gather much manna, you will have nothing over; while blessed be God, if you gather little you shall have no lack. You shall have daily grace for daily trials.
For meditation: The Christian does not need to go looking for problems—they are as fundamental to the Christian faith as any major doctrine (Acts 14:22); but the Christian receives from God the ability to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Sermon no. 290
18 December (1859)