The master-key which fits the locks!
(Susannah Spurgeon, "Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls!" 1898)
"The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loved you!" Deuteronomy 7:7-8
My gracious God, there is a honeycomb of delight and sweetness in these words! Will You put the rod of faith into my hand, this morning, and enable me to dip the end thereof into this rich provision, that my soul may eat and be satisfied, and that the eyes of my understanding may be enlightened?
"Because the Lord loved you!" This is His great "reason" for all of God's dealings with His redeemed people. It is a full and convincing answer to all the doubts and questionings with which Satan can perplex and distress the Lord's timid ones. The enemy of souls has, alas! a powerful confederate in the wicked unbelief which lurks within us; but they will both be vanquished when we have learned to use this weapon of war against them.
Come, my heart, try its blessed force and quality at this moment! The foe says, "Why does God send you affliction, and sorrow, and suffering — when those who do not fear His Name have continual quietness and abounding prosperity?"
If you can boldly answer, "It is because the Lord loves me!" then you will have given him such a sword-thrust as will free you, for a time, at least, from his cunning devices and fierce onslaughts.
Or, look at the text as a shaft of sunlight, piercing through a chink in the shuttered window of some dark experience. Bring your fears and forebodings out of their dusky corners, and place them within the radiance of this light of love — you will be amazed to see them transformed into confident trusts — your doubts will vanish as if they had never been, and the evil and bitter things of life will all be transformed into blessings in a moment.
"Because the Lord loved you!" is the master-key which fits the locks of the hardest question, and opens the mysteries of the deepest problem! It is a charm of wondrous efficacy, and every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ may not only rejoice in its possession — but use it constantly to obtain all the desire of his heart in spiritual things.
What ails you, poor soul? Is it loss of health, or friends, or means? Has God taken from you some dearly-loved one, and left you alone on this sad earth? Is He trying and proving you, by many and varied tests and troubles, "to know what was in your heart"? Whatever may be your immediate and peculiar sorrow, if you have grace and faith enough to say, "This is because the Lord loves me!" — then I dare to promise you that all the bitterness of the affliction will melt away — and the peace of God will fill you with a sweet contentment which surpasses understanding. No distress can withstand such Divine solace, no anguish can refuse the relief of this balm of Gilead. If all that happens to you can be traced directly or indirectly to the hand of your loving Lord — then how gladly should you bear life's burdens, and how perfect should be the rest in which heart and mind should dwell!
O gracious Master, looking back over the years that are gone — the interminglings of grief and gladness, pass before my eyes as the clouds sail by on an April day. And though the memories of great affliction and sore bereavement cast deep shadows across the scene, and seem for a time to blot out all the brightness — yet, above and beyond those changeful skies — the sun has never ceased shining, and darkness as well as day has proclaimed the immutability of Your love. When the ears of my soul are attuned to catch the soft whisper of Your voice, I hear You saying: "All this, My child, was because I loved you! Left to yourself; you would have destroyed yourself; but in Me was your help found. All the tribulations you have endured, were but My servants to whom I entrusted the necessary discipline of your earthly life. Do not forget those words of Mine: As many as I love — I rebuke and chasten!"