ALL GRACE ABOUNDING

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“God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

What a treasure-trove is here for poverty-stricken souls! If our faith were but strong and eager enough to gather up the riches stored in this chest of blessing — what millionaires in grace we might become!

“But the chest is fast locked,” you say, “how can we grasp what we cannot see?” True, yet faith is the key which not only unlocks these treasures — but gives us the right to claim them as our own, and use them to the constant enrichment of our daily life.

I do not know how it is with you, my dear readers — but when I look upon such an exhibition of Divine possibilities as is contained in this and similar portions of God’s Word, I wonder, with a sore amazement, at my own spiritual condition, which, far too often, is reduced to one of indigence and distress. The grand assurance, here given by the apostle, of our God’s ability to supply all our need — is no new thing to us. We know that He “is able to make all grace abound toward us,” we fully recognize the blessedness of “always having all sufficiency in all things,” we desire intensely to “abound to every good work,” but few of us have joyfully entered upon this inheritance. We have not yet taken possession of the land; we may have cut a cluster or two of its fruit, and eaten a mouthful or so of its honey — but our faith has not yet dared to claim the fulfillment of that wonderful promise, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon — that have I given unto you.”

O come, all you longing souls, come, poor doubting reader, come, weak and trembling pilgrim — gird up the loins of your mind, and let your faith march boldly into this promised land, never again to leave it until it is exchanged for the heavenly Canaan!

Think for a moment how wealthy we would be, could we but thus believe in our God. What could we not be, and do, and suffer — if all grace abounded toward us? With what persistency and impressiveness, does the apostle repeat the word “all” — that little word with so vast a meaning! Can we imagine the bliss of possessing all grace — always, and having all sufficiency — in all things?

I lay down my pen for a moment to thank God for these riches of grace in Christ Jesus my Lord, and I take it up again with this thought in my heart —

“What more can He say, than to you He has said, You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?”

There is another sense in which the words of this text may come home to us. The apostle Paul, in previous verses, had been stirring up the Christians in Corinth to liberality of spirit, and zeal in ministering to the saints. It is noteworthy that he brings abounding grace and generous giving into very close connection, linking them together as cause and effect, even as the plentiful sowing of the seed ensures a bounteous harvest. He says, in effect, “Your God is so immensely rich, and so anxious to enrich you, not with grace alone — but with gifts of all things — that the more you give, the more you will have. And if you purpose in your heart to be bountiful, giving love, money, help, and kindness, to all around you — God, who loves a cheerful giver, will see to it that you have the means of carrying out your desire, for you shall have ‘all sufficiency of all things’ that you may abound to every good work!

I think this is a very grave and important view of the text, for may it not be that we, who complain of being impoverished for this very reason, that we have lacked zeal in enriching others? Perhaps we have forgotten that “the worldling prospers by laying up — but the Christian by laying out.” Beloved, if in this “our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” Let us seek earnestly from Him the power to “abound in this grace also.”

“God is able,” dear friends, and He is as willing as He is able, “to make all grace abound toward you.” There is no need for any child of His to be destitute, or distressed in spiritual matters. Does this assertion startle you? Yet God’s Word bears it out; and the fact that there are so many half-starved Christians, poor in faith, penniless in comfort, leading unlovely and joyless lives — does not alter it in the least.

“He is able!” Say it over and over to yourself till you learn its blessed music; it will encourage your souls against every sort of despair. You are very sinful — yes — but, “He is able to save to the uttermost.” You are weakest of the weak — true — but, “He is able to keep you from falling.” You are subject to fierce temptations — but, “He is able to help those who are tempted.” You tremble lest you should not endure to the end — ah! but, “He is able to present you faultless before the presence of His glory, with exceeding joy.” Is not this enough?

Listen, dear soul, the Master Himself says to you, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” See to it that your heart answers, “Yes, Lord,” and then His sweet response will be, “According to your faith — be it unto you.”

THERE IS NOTHING TOO HARD FOR HIM!

Susannah Spurgeon  

“Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You!” Jeremiah 32:17

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:26-27

Dear reader, your difficulties and trials may not be similar to those of “the weeping prophet,” but they are very real, and seemingly insurmountable to you; and it is a fact that, of yourself, you can neither overcome nor endure them, so I want to remind you that the Lord’s hand is not shortened — that what was true of His power in Jeremiah’s time, is as certainly true today — and that whatever present hardship may press upon you, or whatever burden may be weighing you down — you, yes, you may look up to Him with confident faith, and say, “There is nothing too hard for You!”

Oh, the blessed peace which such an assurance brings! I do not know what your particular sorrow or hardship may be — but I do know that, whatever its nature — cruel, or bitter, or hopeless — it is as “nothing” to Him! He is able to deliver you — as easily as you can call upon Him for support and help.

Now, dear friend, think of all the hard things there are in your life:
hard circumstances,
difficult duties,
grievous pains,
sore struggles,
bitter disappointments,
harsh words,
sinful thoughts,
a hard heart of your own,
a hard heart in others.
Gather all these, and many more together, and pile them one on another till you have one great mountain of afflictions — and your God still calmly asks the question, “Is there anything too hard for Me?”

When our hearts are weary of life’s cares and crosses, when our courage flags because of our helplessness, and we cry out with the patriarch, “All these things are against me!” — what a support and stronghold is the fact that our God has all power in Heaven and on earth! There is nothing too mighty for Him to manage — there is nothing too insignificant to escape His notice! Jeremiah’s faith . . .sees no obstacles, stumbles at no hindrances,
faints under no burden, shrinks from no responsibilities — because he realizes the sublime Omnipotence of God, and fortifies himself by calling to remembrance His “outstretched arm” in the creation of the Heavens and the earth. Cannot we do likewise?

I took up a book, in a leisure moment the other day, opened it carelessly, and this is what I read: “It is a scientifically proved fact, that this great globe on which we live, spins around on its axis at the rate of a thousand miles an hour, and propels through space in its orbit at a speed immensely greater!”

The thought of this, seemed almost to take away my breath! Was I calmly and constantly living in the swirl of such a stupendous miracle as this? Then surely I could say, “Ah, Lord God! there is nothing too hard for You! My little troubles and afflictions — how small they must be to You; yet with what tender compassion, do You stoop from guiding the worlds in their courses, to support and comfort the hearts of those who fear You!”

Never let us give up in despair, while we have such a God to trust in. If there is a great mountain of sorrow or difficulty in your way, dear friend — do not be cast down by the darkness of its shadow. Your God can either make a way for you through it — or He can guide you around it — or, just as easily, He can carry you right over it! There is nothing too hard for Him! Expect Him to make the crooked things straight, and to bring the high things low; and while you keep humbly at His feet, He will work wondrously, and you shall see His salvation!

 

 

GOD’S TELEPHONE

“All my longings lie open before you, O Lord. My groaning is not hidden from You!” Psalm 38:9

One of the strongest and sweetest consolations which God gives to His sick and afflicted ones, is the assurance that He not only “knows their sorrows,” and tenderly sympathizes with them in their griefs — but that the appointment of every trial proceeds from Him, and that its whole course and continuance are watched by Him with infinite love and care. As a physician keeps his finger on a suffering patient’s pulse, that he may know just the limit to which pain may be safely endured — so does our God hold our right hand, while we are passing through the furnaces of trial which lie on our road to Heaven, that He may support us through them, and bring us forth in due time to praise Him for His comforting and sustaining grace!

This text came as a precious cordial to my fainting spirit, as I lately lay upon a bed of languishing. Awaking at a very early hour one morning, during my recent illness, I found myself in an extremity of bodily pain and anguish. I tried to pray — but rational thought was an impossibility; groans and tears were the only expression I could give to my suffering — and even these were subdued and hushed, lest the sleeping household should be disturbed.

Then, some blessed, heavenly ministrant whispered the sweet message to my soul, “Your God knows all about you! He sees your grief, He hears your groans! There is a telephone from your lips — to His heart, and every sigh is recorded there! No darkness, no distance, no dividing distress of any kind — can separate you from His constant care. He would spare you every one of these sore pains — were it not that He sees that they are working some ultimate blessing for you. Yield yourself absolutely to His will and appointment — and you will find peace even in pain.”

So I praised Him with sighs and groans, and in silence; and I felt that the tears which ran down my cheeks were all “put into His bottle,” for He came very near to me, and “as one whom his mother comforts,” so did He comfort me. He did not then remove my pain — but He so strengthened me to endure it, and to rest patiently in Him, that I look back on those hours with joy, as a season of hallowed communion with my God.

To all the Lord’s sorrowful and afflicted ones, whether their groans are on account of sin, or sickness, or anguish of heart — I pray that my experience may be an encouragement. Do remember, dear friend, that the God you love, the Master you serve — is never indifferent to your grief, or unwilling to hear your cry!

“He knows the meaning of our tears,
The language of our groans!”

David said truly, “I will be glad and rejoice in Your love — for You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul!” And David’s God is your God, with the added blessedness of the revelation of Jesus Christ the Savior, whose Divine compassion is as infinite as His power.

In time of trouble, the soul is greatly helped by cherishing great thoughts of God; they are sure to induce . . .
great longings after Him,
great faith in Him, and
great love towards Him.

And thus, being filled with His fullness — we soar above and beyond all the earthly distractions and disturbances which surround us, and seek to cast us down.

Pain, whether bodily, mental, or spiritual — is always unwelcome; and at first sight, wears an aspect which alarms and discomforts us. But it is often an angel in disguise; and many a time we have found that, underneath its terrible exterior, there are hidden . . .
the tender smiles of God’s love,
the gentle discipline of His teaching, and
the sweet pity of His marvelous forbearance.

“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my groaning!” Psalm 5:1

— Susannah Spurgeon