30 December 2012

Untrodden Ways

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 18, sermon number 1,057, "Untrodden Ways."
"God has resources you have never dreamed of, and difficulties shall only put you into a position to see new displays of Jehovah's power and grace."

Remember, whether your way in Providence be new or old, it is not a way of your own appointing. A higher power than yours has led you to your present standing place. The people of Israel could have said, “We removed from this place to that, and from that to the next, but we never went without being led on by the fiery cloudy pillar; and here we are just at the brink of Jordan, but we did not come here in a wilful spirit, but we were guided here; Jehovah himself went before us.” Feeling this they felt secure, and we may unite with them. Surely the Lord cannot make mistakes; eternal wisdom cannot err. Your path, my dear brother, and the path of all the saints, has ever been directed by the unerring skill of the great Father, and therefore it must be right. Providence cannot have placed us in a wrong position; it must be right for us to be just where we are; ay, though the armed men were binding us to cast us into Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace, heated seven times hotter than before, we are in the right place if God has brought us there. He has never erred yet, either in guiding a star in its orbit, or in directing the chaff from the winnower’s hand, and he cannot err in steering the course of one of his people. “Say ye unto the righteous it shall be well with him;” for “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” “My times are in thy hand.” Desperate, therefore, though your position may appear to the eye of fear, yet faith knows that God has put you in the best possible position for you to be in at this moment. If it were better, taking everything into account, for you to be in heaven to-day than where you are, you should be there. God will do the best possible thing for his people. If it were better for them that there should be no devil and no death, there should be neither devil nor death, but to heaven should they be caught up at once. Infinite, unspeakable, boundless love arranges all our pathway, and infinite wisdom joins in the decree.

Note, again, your present pathway is new to you, but it is not new to your God. Everything that happens to-day, or will happen to-morrow, is new to us, because we can only live in the present moment; and even though we endeavour to project ourselves a little forward, yet it is generally in a wrong fashion, so that we do not see the truth of coming events, seeing not, but only imagining that we see. But all things are present to the eye of God. To-morrow—there is no such thing with Jehovah! Yesterday—there is no such thing! Past, present, future—these are human words! “NOW” is God’s word, and it comprehends all. He who should look upon a country from a star, taking a bird’s-eye view, would have all parts equally before him while he who traverses it with slow step leaves a portion of the territory behind him, and another part is yet before him. So is it with man. Creeping like an insect from leaf to leaf he leaves something behind, and has something yet before; but God looking down upon all things at once, serenely fills his own eternal “Now,” and sees our ages pass. The peculiar
troubles of to-day, which are exercising you, dear child of God, your heavenly Father was cognisant of ten thousand years ago; and nothing about them comes upon him by surprise. The Lord has no emergencies; he is never at the end of his resources. O beloved, it makes my heart smile while I mention such a notion; it is a childish folly, indeed, to think that the infinite God who filleth all, and sustains all, can ever meet with anything that to him shall be hard. Rest, then, O fellow pilgrim, in this confidence, that the new road to you is an old road to God.

Moreover, there is one view of this thought which ought to be very encouraging to the sorrowful, namely, that he who is at your Father’s side, the Man of love, the Crucified, has, in his practical sympathy with you, actually trodden this pathway of yours. That God has seen it is consoling, but that Christ has trodden it is richest comfort.

"In every pang that rends the heart
The Man of Sorrows bears his part."

You may see all along the way the blood-stained footsteps of him who gave his feet to the nails. Right down to Jordan's brink, and through the flood, and up the hither shore, there are the marks of the goings of him who loved the sons of men and bore their sorrows in his own person for their sakes. Courage, my brethren; where Jesus has been we may go. He leads us through no darker rooms than he went through before, and his having gone through them has sown them with light. We thought them novel places of trial, but they are no longer so since our covenant head has traversed them.

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