The Effect of Freedom
"I will trust, and not he afraid." Isaiah 12:2
No one can trust in God, until he knows God, and enjoys something of the liberty of the gospel. Until he knows that His anger is turned away, that Jesus has made peace, that we are accepted in the Beloved — he cannot consistently use this language. It is a result arising out of the enjoyment of a great and precious privilege; if God is our salvation, and we know it, and enjoy it — then indeed, we may say, "I will trust, and not be afraid."
Such a believer will trust in God's gracious Word, which informs him of . . .
what God is,
what He has provided for His people,
what He has pledged to give them and to do for them;
and which is His warrant to expect every good thing which he may need.
He will trust in the wealth of God, his unbounded resources, which us Jesus are made over to us; to supply our needs, dissipate our fears, and fill us with joy and peace. The riches of mercy, the riches of grace, and the riches of glory, in Jesus and through Jesus are ours.
He will trust in the love of God, which is the source of every blessing, the fountain of life, light, and happiness; which is infinitely tender constant, and fruitful.
"I will trust," says the happy Christian, for . . .
God has spoken;
God is gloriously rich;
God is pure, infinite, eternal love.
There is no cause for doubting, or ground for fear; my eternal interests are secured, and the needs of time provided for. I have the fullest security, a basis for unbounded confidence:
the covenant ordered in all things and sure;
the many exceeding great and precious promises;
the solemn oath of God;
the precious blood of Jesus;
and the character of Jehovah Himself.
All combine to bid me, "trust and not be afraid!"
though Providence may frown;
though God may delay to answer my prayers;
though circumstances may unite to perplex and try me;
though the Lord may hide His face from me; speak against me for my sin; yes, though He slays me
— yet may I trust in Him! His Word cannot be broken, His oath cannot be violated, the blood of Jesus cannot be dishonored, nor can the character of my God be sullied! "I will therefore trust."
"I will not be afraid."
What should I fear? Poverty? — it is an appointment of infinite wisdom and love, it was the chosen lot of Jesus, and blessed are the poor.
What shall I fear? Dangers? — when I pass through the waters, my God will be with me, and through the rivers, they will not overflow me; when I pass through the fire — I shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon me.
What shall I fear? Satan? — God shall bruise Satan under my feet shortly!
What shall I fear? Death? — Jesus has abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the gospel; saints do not die, they only sleep in Jesus.
What shall I fear? That God will change and reject me, and leave me to the wrath to come? — the mountains may depart and the hills be removed; but His kindness shall not depart from me, neither shall the covenant of His peace be removed, says the Lord who has mercy on me.
"I will not be afraid."
My God is for me.
My God is with me.
My God surrounds me.
My God dwells in me.
My God is everything to me.
Am I weak? My God is my strength.
Am I exposed? My God is my defense and the Rock of my refuge.
Am I poor? My God is my wealth, and is pledged to supply all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Have I all the elements of misery and wretchedness in my fallen and depraved nature? My God is my happiness, my song, and my salvation; in Him I have enough to make me happy in the most trying circumstances, and to fill me with joy and peace in the midst of afflictions and troubles!
"I will trust and not be afraid," for I have enough to make me confident and happy; and though it is difficult to exercise confidence at all times, it is not impossible. I will then look to my God for confidence, as well as for salvation!