Are the consolations of God small with you? is there any secret thing with you?
I. SOMETIMES THE CHRISTIAN LACKS CONSOLATION FROM THE VERY WEAKNESS AND IMPERFECTION OF HIS NATURE. As perfect holiness would of itself secure perfect bliss, so is there a necessary connection between moral debility and transient and incomplete enjoyment. Nothing could show more plainly that our nature is fallen and corrupt than the simple but startling fact, that even when Divine love had provided a Mediator between God and man, the Holy Spirit must come into the world, not only to apply the remedy, but to make us feel our need of it.
II. Another reason why even Christian people are sometimes depressed and desponding is, SEPARATION FROM GODLY FELLOWSHIP. As ointment and perfume rejoice the heart, so does a man his friend by wise and timely counsel. Even St. Paul, hero as he was, had his periods of sadness, while pursuing his weary way, cut off from Christian sympathy; but when he saw the brethren, he thanked God and took courage (Acts 28:15).
III. NEGLECT OF THE DIVINELY APPOINTED MEANS OR COMFORT IS ANOTHER VERY COMMON REASON WHY CHRISTIANS ENJOY SO LITTLE OF IT. God will console us in His own way: in devout meditation, in secret prayer, in public worship, in the diligent study of His Holy Word, and in the humble and frequent reception of "the most comfortable sacrament of the body and blood of Christ." When providentially hindered from sharing in the public means of grace, the good Lord will make all due allowance for us. He will be with us in this trouble, and we shall see His power and glory, as we have seen Him in the sanctuary.
IV. ONCE MORE, "THE CONSOLATIONS" OF GOD'S PEOPLE ARE SOMETIMES "SMALL," BECAUSE THEY LIVE IN WILFUL NEGLECT OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT. "Are the consolations of God small with thee?" If so, is it not your own fault? The discovery of the source of the evil is a most important step towards its correction and cure.
(John N. Norton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?