Blessings to Be Daily Sought
James Smith, 1855
FAITH. This is a great blessing, as it is the forerunner of all other blessings. He who has faith, may expect to receive all that is necessary for life and godliness.
We daily need many and great blessings — and the throne of grace is accessible that we may plead for and receive them. All that we need is in Jesus, and all that is stored up in Jesus — is for us. But we must learn the value of spiritual favors before we shall seek them as we ought; and we must seek them in the way which the Lord has appointed, before we can expect to obtain them. His Word is, "Seek — and you shall find." Let us then approach his throne, expect him to be gracious, and seek from his hand seven good things:
True faith . . .
overcomes the world,
works by love, and
purifies the heart.
Faith is . . .
the evidence of regeneration,
the beginning of eternal life, and
the source of all good works.
Faith . . .
credits, embraces, and pleads God's promises;
perceives, receives, and holds fast the Lord Jesus;
puts on the whole armor of God,
takes the field in the name and strength of the Lord, and conquers every foe!
Faith . . .
waits upon the Lord,
pleads the promises, and
brings down every necessary blessing into the soul.
Faith will . . .
crush doubt, and
fill the soul with joy and peace.
Faith . . .
walks in the dark,
trusts in the gloom, and
always forms a good opinion of the Lord and his dealings.
Lord, grant me much of this faith!
Second,A good HOPE. This . . .
Good hope, is a sure and steadfast anchor to the
soul; it keeps the vessel of mercy from foundering in the boisterous
ocean, among shoals, quicksands, and sunken rocks. Hope fastens on that
which is within the veil — and moors its possessor to the eternal throne. It
. . .
centers in Christ,
rests on the promise, and
expects glory, honor, and immortality.
Lord, give me a good hope through grace, and cause me to abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!
"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace." 2 Thessalonians 2:16
Third,LOVE, which never fails. The love of God shed abroad in the heart, leads us to love him, and to love all whom he loves. Love . . .
There is nothing which gives . . .
such desire to holiness,
such zeal for the Lord's glory, or
so devotes us to the Lord's cause —
as this holy, Heavenly love.
It . . .
arises in the Divine nature,
flows through the heart of the Mediator,
is directed by the Holy Spirit into our hearts,
and is the leading feature of the Divine character.
This divine love can never fail to . . .
profit men, or
make its possessor happy.
It is . . .
immortal in its nature,
powerful in its operation,
and glorious in its results.
Lord, fill my heart with holy, Heavenly love!
Fourth,HUMILITY is a most precious grace — it is filled with beauty, loveliness, and glory. This is the garment which the Savior always wore. This is the grace which gave such a charm to all that He did and said. It is one of our best garments, and without it the soul is generally naked. "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another." 1 Peter 5:5.
For lack of humility — the Church is rent and torn with divisions. For lack of humility — believers bring many trials and crosses on themselves, and sow the bitter seeds of trouble and remorse.
If I were truly humble, I must be happy, for it is with such Jehovah dwells: "For this is what the high and lofty One says — He who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and humble in spirit." Isaiah 57:15. To such He looks with love, delight, and esteem: "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My Word." Isaiah 66:2.
"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13. Pride is . .
most loathsome to God,
injurious to men, and
a stronghold of Satan within us.
"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble!" James 4:6. He keeps the proud at a distance, and will not allow them to approach him: "Though the Lord is great, He cares for the humble — but He keeps His distance from the proud!" Psalm 138:6. He threatens them with everlasting destruction. "The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished." Proverbs 16:5
Lord, give me true humility, and let me be clothed with it from day to day!
Fifth,SUBMISSION to the will of God. It is a great thing to be habitually submissive to the will of God — for his will, on all subjects, and in all things — to be our will. We must be happy if this was the case, for it would be impossible for anything to distress us much, or distress us long. But we are so often seeking our own will, and wanting our own way — without considering whether it is agreeable with God's will.
He only wills what will . . .
glorify his name,
benefit his people, and
humble his haughty foes.
O for more submission to the will of God! May my carnal mind be mortified, and my whole soul be brought into a state of absolute and sweet resignation to the will of God!
SPIRIT of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ.
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation
— so that you may know him better." Ephesians 1:17. This we deeply need, and
this we should daily seek. We know very little of Christ yet. We need the
blessed Comforter to reveal to us more of . . .
the glory of his person,
the beauty of his character,
the suitability of his work,
the love of his heart,
the merit of his blood,
the freeness of his grace,
the depth of his pity,
the tenderness of his sympathy,
the dignity of his obedience,
the perfection of his offices, and
the inexhaustible nature of His divine fullness.
O to know him and the power of his resurrection, and to
be made conformable unto his death! Holy Spirit, it is your work to reveal
Jesus, to glorify Him, to make Him known unto us. Be the spirit of wisdom
and revelation within us — that we may . . .
know Christ more fully,
love Him more heartily, and
glorify Him in our lives!
O, to know Him more,
to trust Him more,
to imitate Him more,
to love Him more!
Seventh, USEFULNESS. What must be the state of that heart — which would be willing to live a useless life, or that can be satisfied with any low degree of usefulness attained? O to be useful to sinners, to saints, to the young, and to the aged!
A useful life is the ornament of Christianity. The gospel always teaches us to do good, and to share. Let us seek a suitable sphere of usefulness, and ask the Lord to grant us the ability that is necessary to occupy it, and the grace that will render our labor successful in our attempts to cultivate it.
Grace, while it leads to glory as its end, always makes us useful along the way; if we have much grace, we shall never be satisfied — but as we are glorifying God, either by doing or suffering his will. The more grace we have — the more we thirst to glorify God, and be useful to all around us. It always proves a man to be in a low state as to spirituality, if he can be willing to live a useless day, or is unconcerned as to the state of his fellow-men.
Beloved, let us daily seek faith from God — that we may have faith in God, and be strong in faith, glorifying God.
Let us seek to possess a lively, vigorous hope in God's mercy, amidst all the tossings and trials of life.
Let us seek holy love, from the God of love, for whatever we may possess, whatever we may do, or whatever we may suffer. If we have not love — the greatest sacrifice profits us nothing.
Let us seek deep humility, that we may lay low before God, rise high in the enjoyment of God, and be highly exalted by God. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.
Let us seek submission to, and acquiescence in, all the will of God, whether revealed in the Bible, or discovered by providence.
Let us seek the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, that we may know Christ correctly, experimentally, and increasingly — so shall we believe on his name, trust in his Word, rely on his sacrifice, and rejoice in his grace.
Let us seek to be made useful, increasingly useful, in the world, and in the Church. God often uses the basest creatures, the most unlikely instruments — to accomplish his purposes and perform his work. No one can set his heart upon being useful from a good motive — and not be honored of God to do something which is worth living for. Only eternity will discover the good, which the simple, spiritual, and devoted believer has accomplished in this world. Let us, therefore, work, and pray for grace to work more, leaving the result with God, inasmuch as we "know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord."