This is my comfort in affliction, that Your promise has given me life.
I. GOD GIVES THEM. (Ver. 49.) The Word which it is prayed the Lord would remember is God's own Word; and it is told what that Word has done - "caused me to hope." This God's Word ever does.
II. THEY ARE OUR COMFORT IN AFFLICTION. (Ver. 50.) And what a number of these precious words there are! There is no conceivable stress of soul which is not thought of and provided for by some fit and sure word of the comfort of God.
III. THEY HOLD US FAST IN THE RIGHT WAY. (Ver. 51.) To be held up to scorn and derision is more than most can bear; they give way, yield, and swerve beneath its pitiless power; but not so he to whom the comfort of God is known. The sense of his approval, the gleam of the crown of life, the anticipation of his "well done." and of the joy of the Lord, hold fast the heart, and steady the wavering will. It has ever been so, and will ever be so.
IV. THEY BRING TO MEMORY THE VERDICT OF GOD. (Ver. 52.) This:
1. When man's verdict has been clearly and cruelly given against us. (Ver. 51.) They deemed him a miserable fool
2. When thinking of how God will judge them who are now judging him. He can leave them to his tribunal, whence righteous judgment will go forth.
3. When contemplating the high-handed wickedness of those that forsake God's Law. (Ver. 58.) Burning indignation and horror take hold of him at the sight of them, but again the memory of God's judgments has been his comfort. The history of Israel had recorded many such judgments.
V. THEY HAD BRIGHTENED THE WEARY JOURNEY OF THE DAY AND THE DARK HOURS OF NIGHT. (Vers. 54, 55.)
"Such songs have power to quiet "And the night shall be filled with music, VI. BUT ONLY THE FAITHFUL CAN HAVE THESE SONGS. (Ver. 56.) How true this! The joy of the Lord comes not to the half-hearted and the compromiser and the unfaithful. But to him who keeps God's precepts they do come. - S.C.
"And the night shall be filled with music,
VI. BUT ONLY THE FAITHFUL CAN HAVE THESE SONGS. (Ver. 56.) How true this! The joy of the Lord comes not to the half-hearted and the compromiser and the unfaithful. But to him who keeps God's precepts they do come. - S.C.
Proverbs 14:10). It is a grand matter when "my affliction" is in each case balanced by "my comfort." It was so in David's case, and he is a fair representative of all believers.
This is my comfort in my affliction: for Thy Word hath quickened me.I. IN OUR AFFLICTION, THE WORD OF GOD QUICKENS TO COMFORT.
1. By leading us to God, who is able to bless.
2. By showing us that God is willing and waiting to bless.
3. By throwing a mild and beautiful light on Providence.
4. By spreading before us " exceeding great and precious promises," which adapt themselves with a fine flexibility to all the varieties of our experience.
5. By establishing in our hearts the anticipation of another and a sorrowless life.
II. IN OUR AFFLICTION THE WORD OF GOD NOT ONLY QUICKENS TO COMFORT, BUT ALSO COMFORTS TO QUICKEN. First the Word becomes life, and then comfort; and then, through the comfort, the Word becomes further and fuller life. How?
1. By confirming our faith.
2. By giving new scope and ardour to gratitude and love. The Divine Word helps us to see that the Divine chastening is the sign and manifestation of the Divine mercy.
3. By stimulating the spirit of prayer.
4. By spiritualizing our tastes and aspirations.
5. By restraining our tendencies to wander from God.
(J. P. Barnett.)
I. BELIEVERS HAVE THEIR PECULIAR COMFORT. Each tried child of God can say, "This is my comfort."
1. "This," as different from others. Worldly men get their drops of comfort from such sources as they prefer; but the godly man looks to his experience of the Word, and says, "This is my comfort" (Psalm 4:6).
2. "This," as understanding what it is. He knew his consolation as well as he knew his tribulation. He was not like Hagar, who could not see the well which was so near her (Genesis 21:19). "This," as having it near at hand. He does not say that, as if he pointed it out in the distance; but this, as grasping it.
4. "This," as pleading in prayer that which he had enjoyed; urging upon the Lord the mercy already received.
II. THAT COMFORT COMES FROM A PECULIAR SOURCE. "Thy Word hath quickened me."
1. In part it is outward.(1) The Word of God, full of promises, is our comfort (Romans 15:4).(2) The Word of God, full of records of His goodness, is the confirmation of our confidence (Psalm 77:5-10).(3) The Word of God, full of power, is our strength (Ecclesiastes 8:4).
2. In part it is inward: "Thy Word hath quickened me."(1) In past experience he had felt the power of the Word in raising him — Into life from death (Psalm 116:8). Into energy from lethargy (Song of Solomon 6:12). Into higher life from lower (Psalm 119:67).(2) In all things it had been a source of quickening to him.(3) In present experience he was then feeling its power in making his mind less worldly. His heart more prayerful. His spirit more tender. His faith more simple.
III. THAT COMFORT IS VALUABLE UNDER PECULIAR TRIALS.
1. Hope deferred. Quickening enables us to hope on.
2. Trial endured (ver. 50). Comfort is most needed in trouble, and there is no comfort like quickening.
3. Scorn suffered (ver. 51). We care nothing for mockers when we are lively in spiritual things.
4. Sin of others (ver. 53). More grace will enable us to bear up under abounding sin.
5. Changes (ver. 54). The Bible has a song for all seasons, and a psalm for all places.
6. Darkness (ver. 55). There is no night-light like the Word, enlightening and enlivening the heart.
IV. THAT THE FORM OF OUR COMFORT IS A TEST OF CHARACTER.
1. Some look to wealth: when their corn and their wine are increased, they say, "This is my comfort." They mind the main chance: they are worldly (Luke 12:19).
2. Some seek to dreams and visions, omens and fancies, impressions and presentiments: they are superstitious.
3. Some run to sin, drink, gaming, worldly company, dissipation, opium: they are wicked.
4. Some resort to their fellow-men for advice and assistance: they are unwise, and will be disappointed (Jeremiah 17:5).
(1) (2) (3) ( C. H. Spurgeon.)
(2) (3) ( C. H. Spurgeon.)
(3) ( C. H. Spurgeon.)
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Homilist.I. EFFECTED BY THE DIVINE WORD. How does God's Word quicken the soul into supreme love? By presenting Him —
1. As the supremely Kind. This quickens it into gratitude.
2. As the supremely Beautiful. This quickens it into admiration.
3. As the supremely Great. This quickens it into adoration.
II. SUPPLYING COMFORT UNDER TRIAL. The soul quickened into supreme love for God can bear up under all the trials of life. "Whom have I in heaven but Thee?"
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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