The Weak Heart
James Smith, 1855
"How weak is your heart! says the Sovereign Lord, to do such things as these!" Ezekiel 16:30
Let us try and turn this portion of God's Word to profit.
The weakness of the heart displays itself in a
variety of ways:
sometimes in yielding to temptations,
sometimes by indulging in sin, and
sometimes by giving way to doubts and fears.
Believer, your heart is weak! Look, therefore, to the strong for strength!
How weak is your heart — to want to escape the path of tribulation in which all the saints have walked!
How weak is your heart — to seek, or expect to find, rest in this sinful polluted world — when your Lord calls to you, and says, "Arise and depart — for this is not your rest, it is polluted."
How weak is your heart — to fear man, or the world — and forget God your Maker, who has said, "I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth — that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction?" (Isaiah 51:12, 13).
How weak is your heart — to love, or allow your affections to be set on anything in this world, when God forbids it, and says, "Set your affections on things above, and not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2). And, "Do not love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15).
How weak is your heart — to attempt, or even wish to alter God's plan of dealing with you, or to desire to walk in another path than that which he has marked out for you, especially if you consider:
1. That the plan was drawn, and the path appointed by the highest wisdom, in the foreview of all your concerns.
2. That it is the effect of infinite love to you, and concern for your prosperity.
3. That it is the best plan which God himself could devise, all things being taken into consideration, for "all things work together for the best, to those who love God, and are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
4. That all things that concern you were appointed with reference to the Lord's most gracious promises, especially such as these:
"Your shoes shall be iron and brass. As your days — so shall your strength be" (Deuteronomy 33:25).
"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
5. That all was ordained as a part of that plan which embraced the substitution, merit, and death of Christ for you, and in your stead.
6. That all was arranged in connection with the purpose which raised you to the high relation of a son of God, an heir of God, and a joint heir with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17).
How weak, then, are you to attempt to dictate to God, or imagine that you could alter anything for the better — as though you were capable of being the Lord's counselor, to instruct Him!
How weak is your heart — to think that God is angry with you, because things appear to go cross, and appearances are dark, when he has sworn that he will not be angry with you, nor in anger rebuke you (Isaiah 54:9); but has, through the sacrifice of Jesus, taken away all his wrath, and turned from the fierceness of his displeasure (Psalm 75:3).
How weak is your heart — to think that God will hurt you, when he declares that he loves you, and that you are the dearly beloved of his soul; yes, moreover, that he who touches you to hurt you — touches the apple of his eye; and has added, "Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good" (Jeremiah 32:41).
How weak is your heart — to judge by appearances, when they are opposite to God's promises; and he himself has forbidden it, saying, "Judge not according to appearance — but judge righteous judgment."
How weak is your heart — to listen to Satan, when you know him to be your enemy, the enemy of your Lord, and an enemy to all that is good!
How weak is your heart — to attend to unbelief, or yield to carnal reasonings — when you know that they always contradict God's Word, give the God of Truth the lie, and join with Satan in distressing the souls of the Lord's beloved people.
How weak is your heart — to question the fulfillment of the promises, while God remains faithful, while his honor is pledged, and he cannot deny himself.
How weak is your heart — to restrain prayer, because answers do not come immediately, not considering that the fruit of the promise must not be gathered before it is ripe — and that the Christian's supply can never be kept back too long.
How weak is your heart — to think that prayer is in vain, because you are made to wait, or do not get an answer just in your own way.
How weak is your heart — to neglect the consoling truths of the everlasting gospel, which are intended to comfort, instruct, and draw forth your patience into exercise.
How weak is your heart — to conclude rashly, and say, "All these things are against me!" because you cannot see how they can work for your good.
How weak is your heart — to give up to despondency of mind, after what God has done for you, promised to give you, and spoken in his Word to comfort you.
How weak is your heart — to murmur at God's dealings, when your desert is Hell, and you have the promise of all good things, and the prospect of endless glory with Jesus in the heavenly world!
Believer! Your heart is weak! Look, therefore, to the strong for strength! Endeavor to realize your weakness as a fault; confess it before God, and beseech Him to strengthen you by His Spirit in the inner man — that so you may "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might."