James Smith, 1842
"You shall forget your misery!" Job 11:16
Misery is both the child of sin — and that which calls into exercise divine mercy. All our miseries flow from one source — all have one and the same origin — sin! We ought to hate sin, if it was only on account of the innumerable miseries which it has introduced into our world. The Christian has his share among the rest, because he is a sinner like the rest — but his miseries will have an end.
The miseries of the impenitent are endless! Sin and misery are the two principal things in Hell. They cannot be separated. Where sin is — misery will be, in a greater or less degree. There will be no misery in Heaven — because there will be no sin there. There will be nothing but misery in Hell — because there is no holiness there — all is sin.
The effects of misery on earth, are in a great measure counteracted by covenant mercy. Misery will one day be banished from our hearts and our thoughts. We shall remember our misery no more.
Your misery at present may be very great, it may flow in upon you from many quarters; but beware of rash conclusions, and inconsiderate steps.
Jacob once cried, "All these things are against me!" But he was wrong, all was working for His good; and he at length cried out, "It is enough!" and died an old man and satisfied.
David exclaimed, "I shall one day perish by the hand of this Saul!" But he was mistaken. Both have long since forgotten their misery — and so shall you.
Look from your misery — to the Lord's great and gracious promises; they contain all that you can need; and God will manifest His faithful love in fulfilling them in your experience. Look to the Lord Jesus, your merciful and faithful High Priest; He suffered being tried, and therefore He is able to sympathize with, and deliver you.
Deliverance will soon come; and then the cup of misery shall never more be tasted. The Lord will soon show you the path of life, and at His right hand there are pleasures for evermore. He will raise you to the enjoyment of His presence and glory — and in His presence is fullness of joy. You will one day stand without fault before His throne, free from every principle of depravity, and afar from the most distant shadow of misery!
Your day and generation work will soon be done, the summit of Mount Zion will soon be gained, the plains of Paradise will soon open to your view; and the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed you, and shall lead you unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from your eyes! Then shall you sing with rapture and inconceivable bliss, "Unto Him who loved me, and washed me from my sins in His own blood, and has made me a King and a Priest unto God and His Father — to Him he glory and dominion forever and ever! Amen."
"Courage, my soul! behold the prize
Your Savior's love provides;
Eternal life beyond the skies,
For all whom here He guides.
The wicked cease from troubling, there,
The weary are at rest;
Sorrow, and sin, and pain, and care,
No more approach the blessed!
A wicked world, and wicked heart,
With Satan now are joined;
Each acts a too successful part
In harassing the mind.
But fighting in my Savior's strength,
Though mighty are my foes,
I shall a conqueror be at length,
O'er all that can oppose.
Then why, my soul, complain or fear;
The crown of glory see!
The more I toil and suffer here,
The sweeter rest will be!