THE PRECIOUSNESS OF GOD'S THOUGHTS
"How precious are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" Psalm 139:17
It is marvelous that God should think of us as He does. That, infinitely great and holy—all worlds, all beings, all events occupying His mind—He should yet have individual thoughts of us, those thoughts not mere passing glances of the mind, but involving the pre-determination and pre-arrangement of each event, circumstance, and step of our personal history, trivial though it be as a hair falling from the head—is a truth too mighty to grasp were it not too precious to refuse, and too divine to disbelieve. You have, doubtless, beloved, often appeared in your own view so obscure and insignificant a being—a mere cipher in the great sum of human existence, a single drop in the vast ocean of human life—as to be almost at an infinite remove from God's notice. You could not, indeed, relieve yourself from the conviction of individual responsibility, nor stifle the reflection that for each transaction of the present life the future holds you accountable; yet that, isolated and solitary, perhaps, poor and mean, as you may be, God, the great, the holy Lord God should think of you, notice you, regard you, set His heart upon you—that His thoughts, more precious than the ocean's gems, and more numerous than the sands which belt it, should cluster around you, clinging to you with a grasp so fervent and intense as to lift you to the distinction and privilege of a being in whom, the Divine regard were solely and supremely absorbed—is a truth distancing all conception, and well-near overwhelming you with its mightiness. And yet so it is! Each child of God dwells in His heart, and engages His mind as though he were the sole occupant of this boundless universe—a tiny insect swimming in the ocean of infinity. Such is the truth to which the psalmist gives utterance in a burst of devout, impassioned feeling, "How precious are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" "Unto me!" Here is faith attracting to, and concentrating upon, its individual self all the precious thoughts Jehovah has of His people. Oh, there is not a thought of His wisdom, nor a thought of His love, nor a thought of His power, nor a thought of His grace which does not entwine itself with the being, and blend itself with the salvation of each child of His adoption. The subject now engaging our meditation is—THE PRECIOUSNESS OF GOD'S THOUGHTS—and may the theme lay low all high, towering, sinful thoughts of ourselves, and inspire and raise our holy, grateful, adoring thoughts of Him—His glory, beauty, and love—until, with a depth of adoration, and an intensity of affection, worthy the theme, our hearts respond, "How precious are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" Let us first contemplate a few characteristics of God's precious thoughts of His saints.
God's thoughts of His people are—infinite. Believers deal too little with the infinitude of God. Hence the tendency to "limit the Holy One of Israel." Thus, too, it is, that our confidence in God is so hesitating, our views of His power so dwarfish, our love so defective, and our requests and expectations so contracted. "I am a great King, says the Lord God." All His thoughts are vast, infinite, worthy of His greatness. His electing thought of us was a great thought; His thought of redeeming us was a great thought; His thought of making us divine by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit is a great thought; His thought of bringing us to glory to enjoy Him fully and forever is a great thought. All these thoughts of God are as great as they are precious, as precious as they are great. O child of God! do not think lightly of the thoughts God has of you—they are so vast, nothing can exceed, so precious, nothing can equal them. The thoughts of an Infinite Mind encircle and enfold you more closely and fondly than the ivy clasps the elm, or the mother her new-born infant. Whether they appear clad in darkness, or robed in light, they are equally the great and precious thoughts of your covenant God and Father. "How precious are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!"
God's thoughts of His people are—hidden. The thoughts of the Invisible One, they must necessarily be so. It is His glory to conceal until it becomes His wisdom and love to reveal them. Treasured up in the Divine Mind, they repose in profound mystery until each circumstance in our daily life unfolds and makes them known, then we learn how real and how precious God's thoughts of us are. There is not a moment, beloved of God, that the Lord is not thinking of you; nor is there a moment that He is not, in some form or other, embodying those thoughts in His gracious and providential dealings with you. His wisdom withholds, and His love veils them, until the event transpires that gives them utterance and form. Therefore, when God is silent, let us be still; when He speaks, let us hearken. Hidden to us though His precious thoughts are, they are all known to Him. "I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the Lord; thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Attempt not, therefore, to fathom the Divine Mind, or to penetrate the thoughts that are hidden there. Know you that they are thoughts of everlasting love, thoughts of assured peace, and let this bring your heart into silent, patient waiting, until all these thoughts shall stand unveiled in His wise, loving, and holy dispensations, here, and in heaven's own light hereafter. Enough is revealed by Christ to satisfy you that God's thoughts of you are thoughts of reconciliation—that there exists not in the Divine Mind a solitary thought adverse to your well-being. Jesus, our Friend, reposes in His people the same confidence His Father has reposed in Him. "All things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." Jesus is the expression and embodiment of our Father's mind. Jesus is God thinking, God loving, God working, God redeeming. "He that has seen me has seen the Father." Be not, then, troubled in mind at the dark and mysterious in your path. God is dealing well with you. By His light you shall walk through darkness. Confiding in the wise and loving, though concealed, thoughts of your heavenly Father, your trustful heart can respond, as those thoughts gradually unfold, "How precious are your thoughts unto me, O God!"
Unchangeableness is another characteristic of God's thoughts of His people. This is self-evident, since they are the thoughts of the Unchangeable One. Change implies imperfection. God is a perfect Being, consequently He cannot change. "I the Lord change not." With Him is "no variableness, neither the shadow of a turning." He may vary His providences, multiply His dispensations, and shift the ever-moving scene of human life, but—
"His eternal thoughts move on,
His undisturbed affairs."
How precious is this truth to the child of God! Human thoughts change; mind itself fails, and with it fades from memory countenances that were familiar, and names that were fond, and scenes that were sacred. Human thoughts that cluster and cling so warmly and closely around us today, before many weeks are past, attracted by new objects of interest, or absorbed by new engagements of time, have fled and gone, and we are alone and forgotten. But there is ONE whose thoughts of us never change, whose mind never ceases for a moment to think of us. "O Israel, you shall not be forgotten of me," is His own loving declaration. Directing us to a mother—the last earthly home of human tenderness, sympathy, and love—He tells us, "She may forget, yet will not I." Beloved, whatever fluctuation you find in human thought, or change in human affection, God's thoughts of love, and care, and faithfulness, are changeless. Have they ever darted into your heart like solar beams, causing that heart to sing for joy? Then, though in darkness, loneliness, and sorrow you are led to exclaim, "Has the Lord forgotten to be gracious?" God still bears you in His thoughts and on His heart. Relatives may forget, friends may forget, the saints may forget, but your God never can. He thinks of you at this moment as lovingly, as carefully, as from all eternity. Once in the thoughts of your covenant God, you are in those thoughts forever. Be not cast down, then, if God appears to forget you. "My way is hid from the Lord," says the desponding Church. "No," says God; "I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me." Amid all your mental wanderings, your fickle, faint thoughts of Him, He still remembers you. In the multitude of your anxious and perplexed thoughts within you, awakened by a sense of your ungrateful oblivion of God, or by His trying and mysterious dealings, let this comfort delight your soul, that He never forgets you. But let us particularize some of God's thoughts of His saints.
He thinks of their persons. Each believer has a personal interest in the Divine Mind. The acceptance of our person before that of our sacrifice is God's order. It is man's folly, deep and fatal, to reverse this. "I will accept you and your sweet savor," says the Lord God—first, the persons, and then the offerings of His people. Now, the Lord's people are an accepted people—"accepted in the Beloved." You may, in some moments of spiritual despondency, appear to your own view so vile and unlovely as to be beyond the pale of God's loving and complacent regard. You can only think of, and view yourself with, the deepest self-abhorrence. And yet at that moment of spiritual prostration, your person, standing in Christ, clad in His imputed righteousness, and lovely through the loveliness He has put upon you, is an object of His ineffable delight; and all His parental, gracious, and tender thoughts are entwined around you with a grasp from which nothing shall ever separate you.
He thinks of His own work in your soul—that divine kingdom of righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit which has its home in every regenerate man. Its development and growth, its progress amid indwelling sin, the fluctuation of spiritual feeling, the varied phases it assumes, the summer's drought, the winter's frost through which it passes—occupies the incessant thoughts of God. He has His eye upon that hidden kingdom of grace in the soul more intently, more fixedly, more benignantly than He views the most powerful and gorgeous kingdom upon earth. "The kingdom of God is within you," says the Savior; and all other kingdoms shall fall and disappear, when this kingdom of grace in the saints shall emerge from its veiled obscurity and feebleness, and expand and brighten into an eternal kingdom of glory. Yes, beloved, God thinks of all the spiritual exercises through which you pass—your fears and hopes, your doubtings and your trustings, your high and your low frames, your infirmities of prayer, of faith, and love—yes, there is not a throb of your heart, not a feeling of your soul, not a thought of your mind growing out of the work of Divine grace within—all that elevates or depresses, that grieves or cheers, that shades or brightens—that does not engage the thoughts of your God.
The thoughts of God, too, are occupied with the returns His people make. Nothing you do escapes His notice. What! is there anything done by you for God to which He is indifferent? Ah, no! He thinks of all your sincere desires to love Him, your lowly endeavors to serve Him, your earnest efforts to obey Him, your feeble, imperfect attempts to honor and glorify Him. He thinks of all the poor returns you make of loving toil, of patient endurance, of filial obedience. Have you a passing remembrance of Him as you thread your way through the crowd?—God thinks of it. Is there a gush of love welling up from your heart in secret communion?—God thinks of it. Bear you with stealthy step to an obscure abode the cup of cold water to moisten the fevered lips of some poor suffering saint?—God thinks of it. Have you relinquished some fond idol, or mortified some darling sin, or resisted some potent temptation, or discharged some act of self-denial for the honor of His name?—God thinks of it. Every habit you lay down, or cross you take up, or burden you bear, or yoke to which you bow for Jesus, shall be treasured up in the thoughts of your God through eternity.
We have now, in the progress of our remarks, arrived at a delightful part of the subject—the preciousness of God's thoughts. And where is there a heart touched by divine grace that does not respond from its innermost shrine to the exclamation of David—"How precious are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" They are in truth precious, than which nothing is really so. To feel that God has one loving thought of us, to know that He thinks of us—that He remembers us with a constancy which no forgetfulness on our part of Him can efface, to be quite sure that in His thoughts of love, His thoughts of peace, His thoughts of complacent delight, His true, constant, faithful thoughts we have a personal share—oh, there is a preciousness in this truth, a repose, a confidence, a sanctity, which distances all conception! "How precious are your thoughts unto me, O God!" Let us go into a few particulars.
God's thoughts are precious in themselves—they are essentially precious. They must be so, since they are a Father's thoughts. How precious are His thoughts of eternal love towards us! What! is there no preciousness in this truth to your soul, beloved? I trust the honey from the comb is not half so sweet. "I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you." Is there no sweetness in this truth, in comparison of which all carnal sweetness is as gall? You have tasted the gracious stream, and found it sweet; but have you followed that stream to the fountain whence it flowed—the everlasting love of your covenant God—and tasted yet more sweetness there? Be you assured of this, not one drop of honey distills into your cup, but it comes from the heart of God. It exudes from that "Tree of Life" which He planted in this sinful, sorrow-stricken world, scathed, wounded, by His own hand of justice. "Stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted, it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief," that through this costly, touching, winning channel—the wounds of our Immanuel—might flow into our souls His everlasting thoughts of love. Then you exclaim, "Did God love me from all eternity? did He think of me then? was He preparing all my future happiness and eternal blessedness, treasuring up for me all grace here, and all glory hereafter?—O God! how precious are Your thoughts of love to me!" Yes, they are precious, because they are God's thoughts, and not man's—divine, and not human—thoughts of Divine love, and not of anger—of peace, and not of wrath.
As redeeming thoughts they are precious. It was a thought, which could only find its conception in the Divine Mind, that of saving sinners by the sacrifice of God's beloved Son. No finite mind would ever have thought of saving man; once lost, he would to that mind seem lost irrecoverably. To secure the integrity of His moral government intact, the glory of His Divine nature unsullied—to harmonize justice with mercy, holiness with love, truth with grace, and thus to reconcile all the jarring interests of heaven in the salvation of sinners, by the blood of the Cross, was a thought worthy of God. Go to the cross of Calvary, and learn how costly and precious are God's redeeming thoughts of you. His thought of rearing that cross in the center of a revolted part of His empire—of impaling upon it His only begotten and well-beloved Son, a sacrifice for the salvation of its rebellious subjects—His thought of laying all our sins and all our curse upon Jesus, extinguishing the fires of our hell by the life-blood of Immanuel—of opening the kingdom of heaven to us through the pierced, broken heart of Christ the Anointed One—oh, it were infinitely worthy of Him who is "wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working!" O God, when I read your heart in the cross, in the wounds, in the tears, in the anguish, in the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ, how precious are your thoughts unto me!—thoughts that planned and accomplished my redemption, by an expedient so vast, and at a cost so precious.
Trace these thoughts of God as they compassed our path through all the days of our unregeneracy—how precious are they! We too much overlook this—the patience and forbearance of God during the period of our unconverted days. Surely the 'long-suffering of God' through all these stages and acts of enmity and rebellion was 'salvation.' How often, when gliding upon the treacherous rapid that bore us onward to the gulf, or when standing upon the brink of the yawning precipice, eternal wrath flaming beneath our feet, God thought of us in mercy and redeemed our life from instant and everlasting destruction! And along all the winding path of waywardness and sin, of worldliness and folly, still His thoughts of electing love and sovereign grace pursued us, nor lost their sight, nor relaxed their hold of us, until the appointed and happy hour that brought us into the bond of the covenant.
How precious His thoughts in conversion. What must the love and tenderness of those thoughts have been at the moment that saw us prostrate at His feet, all our self-righteousness, rebellion, and hostility, all our false dependencies and refuges falling in wreck and ruin from around us; and our soul in that blessed posture which He Himself has portrayed, as none but He could, in language the most tender and touching: "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembles at my word!" Oh, what must have been His gracious, condescending, loving thoughts when He traced our first tear, saw our first sorrow, and heard our first appeal to His mercy! When afar off, he beheld us approaching in penitence and contrition, marked the downcast look, the hesitating step, the trembling heart, and heard the secret resolve, "I will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto Him, I have sinned." And when He looked and beheld the glance, the touch, the venture of faith on Jesus—saw the trembling soul embrace His blessed Son, receive His unspeakable gift, and trust in His great salvation—how precious must have been His thoughts of us at that moment?
How precious are His restoring thoughts. These may, at times, appear greater than His thoughts in conversion. Why? Because these restoring thoughts are after all our sinful wanderings, repeated backslidings in the face of love the most tender, of goodness the most unwearying, of faithfulness the most unwavering, of dealings the most kind. That still His thoughts of pardon and of restoration should follow us, seeking us, bringing us back, and restoring to our souls the joys of His salvation, oh, how precious in themselves are God's thoughts! "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant; for I do not forget your commandments."
God's providential thoughts of His people are precious. God is thinking of our wants, of our circumstances, of our emergencies, every moment. His providential thoughts of us are anticipative; they prevent us with their goodness. That same God who fed Elijah beneath the sycamore tree,—who prepared a dinner for the disciples, weary with their night of fruitless toil, as they landed upon the shore,—who feeds the ravens when they cry, and makes those ravens feed His children,—who, when the meal and the oil are well-near exhausted, sends support,—is our God of providence, all whose thoughts are acquainted with, anticipate, and supply our daily need and emergency. Blessed is it to trace a Father's thoughts of us in our providential mercies: to feel that this good has come, this mercy has been bestowed, this table spread, this want supplied, this pressure met, this evil averted, by God's careful providential thought of us. Oh, how precious are these thoughts to him who lives upon a Father's bounty, who can trace a Father's hand, feel a Father's heart, and hear a Father's voice responsive to the petition, "Give us this day our daily bread."
But God's thoughts are not only precious in themselves, they are so also in the personal experience of the believer. David's language expresses this, "How precious are Your thoughts unto me, O God!" This is not an abstract truth—no revealed truth is so to the child of God. If through the truth he is sanctified—"Sanctify them through Your truth"—then every truth of God forms an essential ingredient in God's grand recipe for all believers. Christ pledged the promised, and now given, Spirit, that "when He is come He shall guide you into all truth." Oh, did we more distinctly recognize this office of the Holy Spirit, and honor Him more by availing ourselves of His teaching—ceasing to "hear the instruction that causes to err;" especially ceasing from our own fancied wisdom and attainments—we should not be the children in knowledge and the dwarfs in holiness that we are, but men in both. Into the personal experience, then, of this truth the Holy Spirit is prepared to guide us—the preciousness of God's thoughts. Oh, yes, they are precious at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances. Wreathed in dark clouds or glowing in sunlight, whatever the form they assume or the tint they wear, they are still the thoughts of a covenant God, and as such are inexpressibly precious to the believing soul. Who will affirm that thoughts of love—a creature's love though it be—are not precious? The fond remembrance borne to us from some remote spot, assuring us that time has not effaced nor distance annihilated that sacred affection, that early love that first enstamped its image upon the heart, is more precious to us than rubies. These thoughts of love thus wafted to us are more fragrant than the violet breath of spring. But oh, how do the thoughts of divine love distance this! That human heart must die, and in that very moment those thoughts of love perish. But God can fill and satisfy our souls with Himself in the entire absence of all creature good. How precious and soothing to our sad and lonely, perhaps aching and anguished hearts, is the reflection that God thinks of us in love! And when we deem no one bears us in fond remembrance—when our path is dreary, our faith is low, our comforts few—when resources are failing, and creatures are withdrawing, and Satan is tempting—when a train of untoward circumstances are weaving their net-work around our feet, forming a labyrinth to human ken of inexplicable and inextricable difficulties—and when, from the many and deep waters in which we sink, our appeal is heard, "My heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I"—oh, how precious to us then are the covenant, faithful, loving thoughts of our God!
There is another peculiar stage of Christian experience in which the soul experiences the preciousness of God's thoughts. We refer to the season of mental disquietude and depression, it may be of despondency and despair. You cannot at that moment command your mental powers, control your thoughts, or fix and concentrate them upon any consecutive train of serious and devout reflection. Oh, is it not then soothing and precious to be reminded that your heavenly Father has thoughts of you, that your High Priest in heaven has thoughts of you, that the Holy Spirit on earth has thoughts of you, that each Divine Person of the glorious Godhead has you in remembrance, breathing the words with which He once comforted His Church in the wilderness, "I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Oh, let no child of God—around whose mind thick clouds are hovering, walking in darkness and having no light, tempted to doubt God, to cast away his confidence and abandon his hope in Christ—yield himself to the desponding reflection that he has no place in God's thoughts of peace. Christian sufferer! child of the light walking in darkness! your Father's thoughts of you never were more tender, compassionate, and faithful than at this season of mental gloom, of spiritual despondency. You may not behold Him through the cloud that shades Him from your eye; but He, from whom no darkness hides, sees you, and knows the way that you take. Though you may have relaxed your hand of faith on Him, He has not withdrawn His hand of love from you, but is leading you by a right way to bring you to your heavenly and eternal home. "I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinks upon me."
Let this subject test the bearing of our minds towards God. What are our thoughts of Him? It is a mark of the ungodly, that "God is not in all their thoughts." It is a distinctive feature of the children of God, that they "think upon His name." Oh, is there an occupation of the mind to be compared with this? Thinking of God! meditating upon Christ! There is no other subject of meditation that can calm your perturbed thoughts, fix your wandering thoughts, purify your sinful thoughts, harmonize your perplexed thoughts, quench your panting thoughts, soothe and comfort your sad and mournful thoughts, as thinking upon God! Here is repose—here is peace—here is hope. Oh, that He did engage more of our thoughts! What an infinite, boundless, ennobling theme! "My meditations of Him shall be sweet." Thoughts of His love will comfort you in sorrow, thoughts of His power will calm you in danger, thoughts of His holiness will check you in temptation, thoughts of His wisdom will encourage you in doubt, thoughts of His all-seeing, all-pervading, all-enshrouding presence will sweeten the solitude, smooth the roughness, and illumine the gloom of your path homeward across the desert.
And remember how precious to His heart are your thoughts of Him. "Those who feared the Lord spoke often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for those who feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name." (Mal. 3:16.) Imperfect, transient, sinful as your thoughts of God are, yet there is not a humble, grateful, adoring thought of Him in your heart that is not more precious to Him than countless worlds. Those worlds, innumerable and glorious, will before long be swept from their spheres; but not one lowly, loving, holy thought of God, that once found a moment's home in your heart, shall ever be erased from His book of remembrance. These holy thoughts of God in Christ, that struggled amid indwelling corruption—that, like grains of gold amid beds of earth, sparkled in their veiled and lowly beauty, seen only by Him from whom nothing holy, as nothing sinful, is hidden—these thoughts of His love and faithfulness which, in seasons of depression, and circumstances of trial, and scenes of sorrow, darted, sun-like, athwart your gloomy desponding mind—"My Father loves me now, cares for me now, is thinking of me now—how precious are Your thoughts unto me, O God!"—all, all comes up as a memorial before Him, more beauteous than morning light, more fragrant than the breath of spring, more costly, precious, and endurable than ocean's richest gems? No tongue can describe how precious and glorifying to Christ is a penitential, believing, loving, adoring, grateful remembrance of His name, welling up from the renewed heart of a poor sinner. He seems to say, "Have you, my disciple, one thought of Me? I have, for that one thought, ten thousand thoughts of you. And when I seem to be deaf to your voice, and silent to your petition, and you are led to exclaim, 'The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me,' listen to my words—'Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, she may forget, yet will not I forget you.'"
Seek the daily purification of your thoughts of God in the atoning blood of Jesus. All your truant, unbelieving, murmuring, rebellious thoughts, oh, take them to the Fountain which alone can blot them out, leaving no tracings upon God's tablet but your penitential thoughts of His holiness, your grateful thoughts of His love, your adoring thoughts of His glory, your peaceful thoughts of His grace! One holy, loving, adoring thought of His name He will never, never forget.
And suffer no humbling conviction of personal unworthiness, or blinding influence of deep sorrow, to veil from your mind the precious truth that God still thinks of you. You may be forgotten by some, and may deem yourself too insignificant and obscure to be remembered by others; but He upon whom all worlds hang, and all beings depend, has thoughts of kindness and of love towards you. Listen to His gracious declaration addressed to you, "You shall not be forgotten of me, O Israel!" Oh, wondrous grace, matchless love, that entwines you, His beloved child, in His thoughts of peace, and care, and sympathy, with an intensity, individuality, and minuteness, which seem to exclude from His mind every other being in the universe, so completely does God absorb His people within Himself. Bereaved and desolate widow! God, your God, thinks of you, and of your little ones. Lone and friendless orphan! God thinks of you, for "in Him the fatherless find mercy." Mourning one! God thinks of you, for He has declared, "I, even I, am He that comforts you." Wanderer, penitent and heart stricken! God thinks of you, for He says, "I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself. Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my affections are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, says the Lord." Tried, tempted, afflicted one! God thinks of you. "I know their sorrows," says the Lord. "Come, my people, enter you into your chambers, and shut your doors about you: hide yourself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." Sick one! amid your languor, pain, and solitude, your God thinks of you, for "He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust;" and He has promised "gently to lead those who are burdened." Stay, then, your mind upon Jehovah-Jesus. "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind (margin, whose thoughts) is stayed on you: because he trusts in you." Let nothing inexplicable in God's dealings with you unhinge your mind from this confidence in the wisdom, love, and righteousness of His procedure. Remember His declaration, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:8, 9.) Thus, confide in those covenant, unchanging, loving thoughts of God, and believe that, high as the billows mount, these divine thoughts of your Father's love tower infinitely above all your unworthiness, sins, sorrows, and fears. Although at times so absorbed in a sense of your sinfulness and littleness you may appear to yourself but like an animalcule swimming in the ocean, or a mote floating in the sunbeam, yet the God who gave to that insect its being, and sustains its life, thinks of, and cares for, and loves you. Go, then, and exclaim, "How precious are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" "CASTING ALL YOUR CARE UPON HIM; FOR HE CARES FOR YOU."
"Mighty God! on whom the cares
Of the whole creation lie;
And whose ample bosom bears
The load so patiently:
'Midst the worlds that lean on Thee,
You have loving thoughts of me.
"Ever quickly You do hear
Your children's feeble cry;
And do keep them everywhere
Beneath Your watchful eye:
'Midst the worlds that lean on Thee,
You have faithful thoughts of me.
"Anxious care and heavy woes
Often agitate my breast;
And no balm that here grows
Can give my spirit rest:
But 'midst worlds that lean on Thee,
You have gentle thoughts of me."