Turn to me so you can be delivered, all you who live in the earth’s remote regions! For I am God, and I have no peer.
[Isa 45:22 NET]
How often we seem not to have any real religion, or enjoy any solid comfort! How often are our evidences obscured and beclouded, and our minds covered with deep darkness! How often does the Lord hide himself, so that we cannot behold him, nor get near to him; and how often the ground on which we thought we stood is cut from under our feet, and we have no firm standing! What a painful path is this to walk in, but how profitable!
When we are reduced to poverty and beggary, we learn to value Christ’s glorious riches; the worse opinion we have of our own heart, and the more deceitful and desperately wicked that we find it, the more we put our trust in his faithfulness. The more black we are in our own esteem, the more beautiful and lovely does he appear in our eyes. As we sink, Jesus rises. As we become feeble, he puts forth his strength. As we come into danger, he brings deliverance; as we get into temptation, he breaks the snare. As we are shut up in darkness and obscurity, he causes the light of his countenance to shine. Now it is by being led in this way, and walking in these paths, that we come rightly to know who Jesus is, and to see and feel how suitable and precious such a Savior is to our undone souls. We are needy, he has in himself all riches; we are hungry, he is the bread of life; we are thirsty, he says, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink;” we are naked, and he has clothing to bestow; we are fools, and he has wisdom to grant; we are lost, and he speaks, “Look unto me, and be saved.” Thus, so far from our misery shutting us out from God’s mercy, it is the only requisite for it; so far from our guilt excluding his pardon, it is the only thing needful for it; so far from our helplessness ruining our souls, it is the needful preparation for the manifestation of his power in our weakness; we cannot heal our own wounds and sores; that is the very reason why he should stretch forth his arm. It is because there is no salvation in ourselves, or in any other creature, that he says, “Look unto me, for I am God, and there is none else.”