The Lord Present to Save
James Smith, 1842
"For I am with you, and will save you, says the Lord." Jeremiah 30:11
The presence of a friend in trouble is cheering and consoling. But it is too often the case, that our friends, like the friends of Job, prove miserable comforters. They do not enter into our troubles — or they cannot help us. The advice they give at times — only aggravates our woe and adds to our distress.
But, believer, your God says, "I am with you!" What a thought is this! God, the great, the glorious, the omnipotent Jehovah — is with me!
With me to help me,
with me to comfort me,
with me to sanctify me,
with me to save me,
with me as a kind benignant Father,
with me in every place, in every trouble, in every conflict,
with me through all my journey and for evermore,
with me on the bed of sickness,
with me to hold communion with me,
with me to listen to my sighs,
with me to number my tears, and
with me to secure me from all injury!
Yes, Jehovah is with you, and you may say as Jesus did, "I am not alone, because the Father is with me." He is with you to save you; not only from sin — but from immoderate sorrow, from being pressed beyond strength. He will save you . . .
from your gloomy fears — by sending comfort from His Word;
from your malicious enemy Satan — by lifting up a standard against him;
from every real evil — for He has said, "There shall no evil happen to the just." "He shall not be visited with evil."
Appearances may be very dark, the night may seem very long, and your pains, weakness, and fears may be many and great. Still, if the Lord is with you, you may sing, "Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!" Habakkuk 3:17-18. "The Lord is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds' feet, and He will make me walk upon my high places."
"The Lord with me!" says some tried soul; "if the Lord is with me — how is it that all this trouble has come upon me? Surely if the Lord were with me — things would go different with me?" So Gideon argued — but he was wrong. (Judges 6) "The Lord tries the righteous. He is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them; I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God."
Left to our own wills, we would be earthly, sensual, and devilish; but the Lord loves us too well, and is too near to us, to allow it. The furnace and the flood are means of preservation; by these He purges us from worldly-mindedness, and leads us to set our affections on things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. As the eagle stirs up her nest, renders it uncomfortable, and obliges the young to learn to fly — so the Lord stirs up the nests we make, and constrains us to look upward and long to be at home!
How sovereign, wonderful, and free,
Jesus, your love to sinful me!
In saving, though I still rebel;
Jesus, my Lord, does all things well.
Whenever my Savior and my God,
Has on me laid His chastening rod,
I know in all that has befell,
My Jesus has done all things well.
Sometimes He's pleased His face to hide,
To make me pray, and kill my pride;
Yet am I helped on this to dwell,
My Savior still does all things well.
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you!" Isaiah 43:5