Kindness Shown in Adversity
James Smith, 1842
"You have seen my affliction, and knew the anguish of my soul." Psalm 31:7
Our troubles may escape the notice of men — but they cannot escape the notice of our God. No earthly parent ever watched over a child with that tenderness, concern, and attention — which Jehovah manifests in watching over us. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous; and His ears are open to our cries. He has considered our troubles. He knows their nature, number, and pressure.
He considered them when the covenant of grace was made, which is ordered in all things, and sure. Then provision was made for every fiery trial, for every troublesome billow, for every distressing event. There is something in God's covenant, suited to meet every trouble that can come upon us. "All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies."
He considered our trouble, when He made His exceeding great and precious promises. They are so framed as to suit us in the winter of adversity — to administer consolation in seasons of peculiar distress. All of the promises have reference to sin and trouble; they were made to comfort poor sinners in trial and distress. They are exactly suited to us, being made on purpose for us; and every promise that is suited to me, I am at liberty to take up and claim as my own. All the promises are in Jesus. They are all ours, because He is ours, and we are his.
The Lord considers our trouble, and even now sympathizes with us. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:15
Some people do not know an old friend in trouble — but the Lord especially knows His people in adversities. He never walked with the three children — but when they were in the furnace. He is more especially present — when most needed. He knows us, and loves us; let who will neglect or turn against us. He knew and appeared for David, nor ever left him until He had done that which He had spoken to him of. Just so, He will make good His word to us, fulfill His word in us, and honor His word by us.
He has known us in all past adversities, He will know us in the present, and in all that are future. Believer, one friend will be sure to know you in trouble, will be sure to visit you in sickness, and to help you in your distress — and that is your God. And if God is for you, who can to any purpose be against you? If the Lord does not help you — then who can? And if He will befriend you — then there is no real ground of fear, though earth and Hell are banded together against you.
Are you peculiarly tried? cry out with David, "Turn unto me, and have mercy upon me — for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged! Oh, bring you me out of my distresses. Look upon my affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sin."