(Alexander Smellie, "The Secret Place" 1907)
I have many agitations and misgivings. But when heart and flesh faint and fail, my Lord has three whispers for me that banish fear and alarm.
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you!" Isaiah 43:1
My PAST brings me trouble . . .
the sins I have committed,
the duties I have neglected,
the guilt I am chargeable with,
the penalty I merit —
these make the retrospect of my days and years sad in the extreme.
I have wrecked my own life.
I have injured others.
I have sinned against God.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed by self-contempt.
But there is redemption — there is forgiveness. God concerns Himself with the locust-eaten yesterday. He forgives it through the might of Christ's Cross. He may transmute my very sins and errors and falls into means of grace — as nature can convert the battlefield that was strewn with the dead, into the greenest of pastures. He redeems me from my past!
"Fear not, for I am with you!" Isaiah 41:10
My PRESENT stirs in me great disquietude.
Apart from my Savior, I am still . . .
as weak as water before temptation,
an easy prey to the enemy,
the willing servant of sin.
But then God remains with me, to preserve . . .
my soul from death and
my feet from falling and
my eyes from tears.
By His providence, His Gospel, His Spirit — He sanctifies and makes me holy.
I know not which to marvel at more: His suffering for me on the cruel Tree — or His long-suffering with me always.
"Fear not, I will help you!" Isaiah 41:13
The FUTURE has its distresses.
Peering ahead, what do I see?
many trials and afflictions,
much weariness and struggle.
But my Lord will go before me.
As feeble as I am in myself, I shall be more than a conqueror over all the contingencies of the future, when the Lord helps and strengthens me.
To His thrice-repeated "Fear not!"
I reply, "I will not fear, for . . .
You have redeemed me,
You are with me, and
You will help me!"