(James Smith, "The Believer's Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble" 1842)
"You are my portion, O Lord!" Psalm 119:57
This is the language of every Christian's heart and life! The generality of the Lord's family are poor in this world — they have no portion of an earthly kind. He who has God for His portion — must not expect much besides. The Lord is enough to make them happy in the absence of all things besides; but nothing can make the spiritual mind happy in His absence.
He is the sun which enlightens, enlivens, and quickens them!
He is the shield which guards, protects, and preserves them!
He is the bread which sustains, strengthens, and revives them!
He is all they want — and without Him they have nothing.
They are often surprised when Providence strips them, and they are left as Job was — naked, friendless, poor, and destitute. But this is just the Lord bringing them to the test. They had said, "You are my portion, O Lord!" Whereas it is now evident that they reckoned those things of which God has stripped them — as a part of their portion. They considered them as necessary; whereas, however much they may add to our outward comfort, they are not absolutely essential to our well-being.
The Lord is an all-sufficient portion; he who possesses the Lord, may say as Jacob to Esau, "Take the present, my brother — seeing I have all things."
The Lord is an all-comprehensive portion; all things are in Him, from Him, by Him, and for Him.
While He is rich — how can we be poor?
While He is able — how can we be left to want?
While He is love — how can we be miserable?
Is God your portion? If so, your light afflictions are but for a moment; and they will work out for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
All your trials — are mercies!
Every cross — is a real blessing!
God is dealing with you as with a child which He loves tenderly. He is now, in this affliction, doing you good with His whole heart, and with His whole soul. Oh, believe that God, your God, is love! He . . .
declares it in His word,
proves it in all His dealings, and
will fully reveal it to your soul's eternal satisfaction in Heaven!
Take up your home then in your God; make Him . . .
the subject of your meditation,
the center of your joy,
the object of your love,
your soul-satisfying portion!
So shall you sing at the last, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!" Psalm 73:26