(MacDuff, "Words of Comfort to the Christian Pilgrim")

"As your days, so shall your strength be." Deut. 33:25

The Christian is frequently compared to a pilgrim,
traveling onwards through a dreary wilderness, to
the promised land of Canaan.

His experience is varied and chequered. The
path before him may be steep and arduous.
He may have to pass through . . .
  rough and stony places;
  dark, thick forests;
  rapid streams;
  raging hurricanes.

His days may be such, as to require great . . .
  and energy,
  and perseverance.

Oftentimes, when he strives to anticipate the future,
his heart sinks within him, his courage fails, and he is
apt to give way to despondency and doubt. But, such
a promise, "As your days, so shall your strength be,"
may well suffice to calm the believer's fears, and
reanimate his fainting spirit.

It is true, that changes and vicissitudes will come;
true, that the heart, which today is cheerful and happy,
may tomorrow be wounded and bleeding; true, that the
full cup, now held with gladness, may be dashed in pieces,
before the lips have tasted the refreshing draught; true,
that the bright hope, which, like a guiding star, allures
the traveler onwards, may speedily be enwrapped in
pitchy gloom.

But to the child of God, there is a supply of strength
to meet the hour of trial.
He is not permitted to escape
from the burden, the cross, the difficulty. But he is
enabled to make his way through them all; to struggle
with, and finally to overcome them.

Many a time, when the believer has been well near
crushed under the oppressive weight; when, conscious
that ordinary strength would not avail, he has cried
unto the Lord, and a fresh supply of grace has been
given to meet the emergency; so that he could say
with David, "I waited patiently for the Lord to help
me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted
me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the
mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied
me as I walked along." Psalm 40:1-2

It would be easy for God, to make the path heavenward,
plain and unobstructed to His children; easy, to remove
all care, anxiety, and sorrow. But such is not His purpose.

Earth is the training school for Heaven. God wills that
His children should be tried; that their spiritual natures
should be refined and purified in the furnace of affliction.
And that thus, by the very struggles and pains of their
earthly pilgrimage, they should become more and more
fit for serving Him in this world; and more and more fit
for the inheritance of the saints in light.

The Christian, by each difficulty he is called on to
encounter; by each trial he is summoned to bear;
by each virtue he is required to call into exercise;
becomes more vigorous, earnest, faithful, and
Christlike. His soul is gradually training and
strengthening by duty, trial, and endurance here;
for glory, honor, and immortality hereafter.

Every fresh victory . . .
  over pride,
  over vanity,
  over avarice,
  over selfishness,
  over fretfulness,
makes us stronger for the time to come, and
insures the fulfillment of the promise, "As your
days, so shall your strength be."

Christian! mark again these words. They do not
give the pledge, that we shall not feel the burden
and heat of the day. All they promise is, that we
shall get safely through. They do not say that we
shall not feel the weight of our duties, trials,
temptations, conflicts. All they say is, that we
shall have strength to bear their weight, and
journey on with our load.

The grace imparted, will then be "sufficient" for
us; sufficient for our actual necessities; sufficient
strength equal to our day.

Strength to encounter the tempest will
be given when the tempest rages.

Strength to breast the foaming surges will be
given when the hurricane has actually come.

Strength to grapple with the last enemy will
be given when he comes forth to meet you.

Yes, Christian! be assured, grace and strength
will be imparted when you need them, as certainly
as they will be withheld before you need them.

He who guides you, knows your necessities, and,
in the day of trouble, will not leave you comfortless.

Journey on, then, with firmness, relying on His
promise. Your day is coming. You will, before long,
enter into your final rest, and repose from all your
labors. You will take possession of the promised
inheritance, and will then acknowledge with a grateful
heart, "As my days, so my strength has been."