When God does the directing, our life is useful and full of promise, whatever it is doing; and discipline has its perfecting work.
It was out of the common thing that the precious thing was brought; and it is out of the common things of daily life, presented obediently to Jesus and laid at His feet, that He brings His own glorious gifts, so that our whole lives become one great sacrament.
No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him. There is always work, and tools to work withal, for those who will.
When in the Mexican war the troops were wavering, a general rose in his stirrups and dashed into the enemy’s line, shouting, “Men, follow!” They, seeing his courage and disposition, dashed on after him, and gained the victory.
What men want to rally them for God is an example to lead them. All your commands to others to advance amount to nothing so long as you stay behind. To effect them aright, you need to start for heaven yourself, looking back only to give the stirring cry of “Men, follow!”
In asking for temporal blessings, true wisdom lies in putting the matter into the Lord’s hand, and leaving it there. He knows our sorrows, and, if He sees it is good for us that the water should be turned into wine, He will do it. It is not for us to dictate: He sees what is best for us. When we ask for prosperity, perhaps the thing which we should have is trial. When we want to be relieved of a “thorn in the flesh,” He knows what we should have is an apprehension of the fact that His grace is sufficient for us. So we are put into His school, and have to learn the lessons He has to teach us.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
He will not impose upon you one needless burden. He will not exact more than He knows your strength will bear. He will ask no Peter to come to Him on the water, unless He impart at the same time strength and support on the unstable waves. He will not ask you to draw water if the well is too deep, or to withdraw the stone if too heavy. But neither at the same time will He admit as an impossibility that which, as a free and responsible agent, it is in your power to avert. He will not regard as your misfortune what is your crime.
God keeps a school for His children here on earth and one of His best teachers is Disappointment. My friend, when you and I reach our Father’s house, we shall look back and see that the sharp voiced, rough; visaged teacher, Disappointment, was one of the best guides to train us for it. He gave us hard lessons; he often used the rod; he often led us into thorny paths; he sometimes stripped off a load of luxuries; but that only made us travel the freer and the faster on our heavenward way. He sometimes led us down into the valley of the death shadow; but never did the promises read so sweetly as when spelled out by the eye of faith in that very valley. Nowhere did he lead us so often, or teach us such sacred lessons, as at the cross of Christ. Dear, old, rough handed teacher! We will build a monument to thee yet, and crown it with garlands, and inscribe on it: Blessed be the memory of Disappointment!
When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place … and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.
Obedience to a divine prompting transforms it into a permanent acquisition.
He that taketh his own cares upon himself loads himself with an uneasy burden. The fear of what may come, expectation of what will come, desire of what will not come, and the inability to redress all these, must needs bring him continual torment. I will cast my cares upon God: He hath bidden me. They cannot hurt Him: He can redress them.