‘Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ 1 Peter 5:7
Suggested Further Reading: Jonah 4:6–11
Believe in a universal providence; the Lord cares for ants and angels, for worms and for worlds; he cares for cherubim and for sparrows, for seraphim and for insects. Cast your care on him, he that calls the stars by their names, and leads them out by numbers, by their hosts. ‘Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and thinkest O Israel, my way is passed over from God and he has utterly forgotten me?’ Let his universal providence cheer you. Think next of his particular providence over all the saints. ‘Precious shall their blood be in his sight.’ ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.’ ‘We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ While he is the Saviour of all men, he is specially the Saviour of them that believe. Let that cheer and comfort you, that special providence which watches over the chosen. ‘The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him.’ And then, let the thought of his special love to you be the very essence of your comfort. ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ God says that as much to you, as he said it to any saint of old. ‘Fear not, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ O I would beloved, that the Holy Spirit would make you feel the promise as being spoken to you; out of this vast assembly forget the rest and only think of yourself, for the promises are unto you, meant for you. O grasp them. It is ill to get into a way of reading Scripture for the whole church, read it for yourselves, and specially hear the Master say to you, ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’
For meditation: While we should not be so preoccupied with ourselves that we are unable to see the wood for the trees, there is also the danger of neglect or ingratitude resulting from a failure to see the trees for the wood. ‘They made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.’ (Song of Solomon 1:6). Never forget how personal the Saviour is—‘who loved me, and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20).
Sermon no. 428
12 January (1862)