THE COMFORTING ASSURANCE
Acts 20:35, "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,"
"Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things." — Matthew 6:32
Though spoken originally by Jesus regarding temporal things, this may be taken as a motto for the child of God amid all the changing vicissitudes of his changing history. How it should lull all misgivings; silence all murmurings; lead to lowly, unquestioning submissiveness, "My Heavenly Father knows that I have need of all these things!"
Where can a child be safer or better — than in a father's hand? Where can the believer be better — than in the hands of his God? We are poor judges of what is best for us. We are under safe guidance with infallible wisdom. If we are tempted in a moment of rash presumption to say, "All these things are against me!" let this "word" rebuke the hasty and unworthy surmise. Unerring wisdom and Fatherly love, have pronounced all to be "needful."
My soul, is there anything that is disturbing your peace? Are providences dark, or crosses heavy? Are spiritual props removed, creature comforts curtailed, gourds smitten and withered like grass? Write on each, "Your Father knows that you have need of all these things!" It was He who increased your burden. Why? "It was needed." It was He who crossed your worldly schemes, marred your cherished hopes. Why? "It was needed." A pleasant flower in the coveted path — it was supplanting Himself — He had to remove it! There was some higher spiritual blessing in communion with God.
Seek to cherish a spirit of more childlike confidence in your Heavenly Father's will. You are not left unfriended and alone to buffet the storms of the wilderness. Your Marahs as well as your Elims are appointed by Him. A gracious pillar-cloud is before you. Follow it through sunshine and storm. He may "lead you about," but He will not lead you wrong. Unutterable tenderness is the characteristic of all His dealings. "Blessed be His name," says a tried believer, "He makes my feet like hinds' feet" (literally, "equals" them), "He equals them for every precipice, every ascent, every leap."
And who is it that speaks this quieting word? It is He who Himself felt the preciousness of the assurance during His own awful sufferings, that all were needed, and all appointed; that from Bethlehem's cradle to Calvary's Cross — there was not an unnecessary thorn in the crown of sorrow which He, the Man of Sorrows, bore. Every drop in His bitter cup was mingled by His Father: "This cup which You give Me to drink, shall I not drink it?" Oh, if He could extract comfort in this hour of inconceivable agony, in the thought that a Father's hand lighted the fearful furnace-fires — what strong consolation is there is the same truth to all His suffering people!
What! one superfluous drop! one unessential pang! one unneeded cross! Hush the secret atheism! He gave His Son for you! He calls Himself "your Father!" Whatever be the trial under which you are now smarting, let the word of a gracious Savior be "like oil thrown on the fretful sea;" let it dry every rebellious tear-drop. "He, your unerring Parent, knows that you have need of this as well as all these things."
John MacDuff (1818-1895)