Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“The Lord answered the angel with good and pleasant words.”
What a sweet answer to an anxious question! And let us rejoice in it. O Zion, there are good things in store for you! Your time of travail will soon be over. Your children will be rescued. Your captivity will end. Patiently bear the rod for a season; in the darkness trust in God, for his love burns for you. God loves the church with a love too deep for human imagination. He loves her with all his infinite heart. Therefore, let her children be of good courage. Success isn’t far away from those to whom God speaks “good and pleasant words.”
The prophet goes on to tell us what these good and pleasant words are. God says, “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.” The Lord loves his church so much that he cannot bear that she should go astray to others. And, when she does, he cannot bear that she should suffer too heavily. He will not let his enemies continue to afflict her. He is displeased with them because they increase her misery. When God seems to have left his church, his heart is warm toward her. History shows that, whenever God uses a rod to chasten his servants, he always breaks it afterward. It’s as if he loathed the rod which gave his children pain. “Like a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear him.” God’s discipline is no evidence of his lack of love.
If this is true of his church collectively, it is also true of each individual member. You may fear that the Lord has passed you by, but it is not so. He who counts the stars and calls them by their names is in no danger of forgetting his own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature he ever made or the only saint he ever loved. So, approach him and be at peace. [M&E]