The Way to Be Happy!
James Smith, 1855
One of the greatest privileges a believer can enjoy, is to see that God, in all the glory of his nature and perfections — is on his side. And this is the privilege of every Christian — whether he enjoys it or not. God, in Christ, is united to every saint; and every saint, in Christ, is united to God. The Divine nature, through the human, sympathizes with us in every conflict, trial, and trouble. God is engaged to us, and engaged for us, in the everlasting covenant, therefore the Psalmist could sing, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
Of whom, indeed! For, as the Apostle reasons, "If God is for us," and with us, then "who can be against us?" Who can prevail against us? Who can really injure us? Let us, then, rejoice in the fact, that "the Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge!"
Let us daily think of God's glorious perfections, and view them as engaged for us at all times.
His power is engaged to support, defend, and strengthen us.
His omniscient eye is constantly upon us, watching over us for good.
His omnipresence is our safeguard from all our foes — for no one can come and find our God absent from us.
His justice and righteousness shine in all his dealings with us — and are like lofty mountains round about us.
His holiness shines in all his purposes and plans — and forbids the thought that he will act unsuitably towards us.
His mercy is ever great towards us — and by it he sympathizes with us in all our sorrows, griefs, and woes.
His goodness will constantly supply us, and is sufficient to fill us with admiration and astonishment.
His truth renders certain — every promise he has given and recorded in his Word.
His immutability bears us up and bears us on, confirming our faith and hope in his Word.
His wisdom frustrates the designs of our foes, and arranges and manages all for our welfare.
His eternity is the date of our happiness, and the duration of our unspeakable blessedness!
Here is enough to . . .
engage our thoughts,
overflow our minds, and
forever fill us with adoration and praise!
What a God is Jehovah! And Jehovah, in Jesus — is ours!
How cheering this fact, and what sweet support it yields to the mind — to meditate on his perfections and glorious attributes — seeing them all in Jesus — and in him engaged for our present and everlasting welfare!
What could shake our minds — if we did but firmly believe that God's omnipotence is engaged to defend us to the uttermost?
What could tempt us to commit any known sin — if we were realizing that God's omniscient eye is upon us; yes, that God is present with us, and that he is our sin-hating father?
What could lead us into murmuring and rebellion — if we were fully persuaded that God's holiness and justice are for us, and will shine resplendent in all his dealings with us?
What could lead us to think that our prayers would not be answered, nor our petitions be regarded — if we were fully assured, and our minds were influenced by the assurance, that God is truth?
How could we believe that he would ever turn against us — if we rightly viewed his immutability?
Or, how could we think that our affairs would be disordered — if we felt satisfied that his wisdom was working for us at all times!
We do believe all of these things — but we need to make them bear more upon our experience and practice. Our religion is too much in the head — and too little in the heart. Truth rather floats in the understanding — than sinks down into the soul. Our memory lets it slip, and nothing but frequent meditation on these things, will cause us to profit by them. They are calculated and intended to benefit the Lord's people — but unless we exercise our minds upon them — we shall not be benefitted by them.
One truth, brought home to the soul by the Holy Spirit, and digested by meditation, does us more good than volumes which just pass through the mind! We ought, therefore, to pray more over what we read, and look to the Holy Spirit, beseeching him to unfold and apply the truth to us. We are often starving in the midst of plenty — and full of fears, when we have every reason to be confident and happy.
Our religion will never make us happy — until we look more out of self — until we are more taken up with what God is to us, and less with our own miserable feelings.
Jehovah says, "I will be your God." "I am married unto you." "Look unto me." What is this but saying,
"I am for you.
I am united to you.
I tenderly love you.
I will never neglect you.
I will allow nothing to harm you.
I will supply you.
I will guide you.
I will do everything that is necessary for you.
Look to me for everything.
Come to me with all your troubles.
Trust me with all your affairs.
Put all your concerns into my hand.
Expect me to perform the part of a wise, wealthy, kind-hearted husband.
Only seek my glory, and I will secure your everlasting welfare.
I shall rejoice to do you good.
I shall consider it an honor, a happiness — to benefit and bless you.
Only believe my Word.
Only give me credit for veracity.
Only place confidence in me, and I pledge myself that all shall be well."
Lord, give us faith to believe this! Holy Spirit, write out a fair copy of it on our hearts, and help us to retain and use it in our everyday walk and work! Truth would make us happy — but unbelief keeps from it.