Psalm 77:10; Psalm 143:5
And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of God…I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Memory, meditation, and musing are here set together as the three graces, ministering grace to a mind depressed.
ROBERT HAWKER (1753-1827): It is very sweet and blessed, under present troubles, to call to remembrance former mercies…Reader, let you and I look back, under any new troubles, to past deliverances, and behold the many Ebenezers which we have set up, that we may say, “Hitherto hath God helped us,” 1 Samuel 7:12. And in doing this we shall find occasion to say, with the apostle, that God, who delivered us from so great a death and doth deliver, in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us, 2 Corinthians 1:10.
C. H. SPURGEON: When we see nothing new which can cheer us, let us think upon old things. We once had merry days, days of deliverance, and joy and thanksgiving; why not again?
WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): Let us believe the truth of this declaration, “I will surely do thee good,” Genesis 32:12. There are four steps by which we may reach the conclusion. The first regards His sufficiency. He is able to do us good. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. In the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. There is no enemy but He can conquer, nor exigence but He can relieve. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think.
TIMOTHY CRUSO (1657-1697): Let no appearing impossibilities make you question God’s accomplishment of any of His gracious words. Though you cannot see how the thing can be done, ’tis enough if God hath said that He will do it. There can be no obstructions to promised salvation which we need to fear. He who is the God of this salvation and the Author of the promise will prepare His own way for the doing of His own work, so that “every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low,” Luke 3:5. Though the valleys be so deep that we cannot see the bottom, and the mountains so high that we cannot see the tops of them, yet God knows how to raise the one and level the other.
WILLIAM JAY: The second [consideration] regards His inclination. He is disposed to do us good. His love is not only real, but passes knowledge. He feels towards us as His jewels, His friends, His children, His bride. He rests in His love, and joys over us with singing.
C. H. SPURGEON: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” Psalm 23:1. I might want otherwise, but when the Lord is my Shepherd He is able to supply my needs, and He is certainly willing to do so, for His heart is full of love, and therefore “I shall not want.” I shall not lack for temporal things. Does he not feed the ravens, and cause the lilies to grow? How, then, can He leave His children to starve?
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): He who feeds His birds will not starve His babes.
JOHN FLAVEL (1630-1691): Consider the fowls of the air, saith Christ, Matthew 6:26―not the fowls at the door, that are daily fed by hand; but those of the air, that know not where to have the next meal; and yet God provides for them.
WILLIAM JAY: The third [consideration] regards His engagement. He is bound to do us good. We have not only His Word, but His oath; an oath sworn by Himself, because He could swear by no greater, and confirmed by the blood of an infinite sacrifice.
JOHN FLAVEL: Remember your relation to Christ, and His engagements by promise to you, and by these things work your hearts to satisfaction and content.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Our faith should be borne up on wings by the promises of God.
THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): God expects that we should be His remembrancers, and that we should pray over His promises. When He had promised great things to His people concerning justification, sanctification, and preservation, He subjoins, “Yet, I will for this be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it,” Ezekiel 36:37. God looks that we should spread His gracious promises before Him, as Hezekiah did Sennacherib’s letter, Isaiah 37:14…Though God be a very affectionate father, and a very liberal father, yet His is not a prodigal father, for He will never throw away His mercies on such as will not stoutly and humbly plead out His promises with Him.
C. H. SPURGEON: I remember a minister who went to see an old lady, and he thought he would give her some precious promises out of the Word of God. Turning to one, he saw written in the margin, “P,” and he asked, “What does this mean?” “That means precious, sir.” Further down he saw “T. and P.”—and he asked what the letters meant. “That,” she said, “means tried and proved, for I have tried and proved it.”
WILLIAM JAY: The fourth [consideration] regards His conduct. He has done us good. We have had complaints enough to make of others, but of Him we are compelled to say, “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord.” His goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our lives. How often has He turned the shadow of death into the morning?
MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): Former experiences of God’s goodness in delivering us out of troubles ought to increase our faith.
JOHN FLAVEL: There is as much difference betwixt believing before, and after experience, as there is betwixt swimming with bladders, and our first venture into the deep waters without them…O ‘tis no small advantage to a soul in a new plunge and distress, to be able to say, “This is not the first time I have been in these deeps, and yet emerged out of them.” Hence it was, that Christ rub’d up His disciples memories with what Providence had formerly wrought for them in a day of straits, Matthew 16:8-11: “O ye of little faith, why reason ye among your selves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember?” Were ye never under any strait for bread before now? Is this first difficulty that ever your Faith combated with? No, no, you have had straits, and have experienced the power and care of God in supplying them, before now.
WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): David was famous for his hope, and not less eminent for his care to observe and preserve the experiences he had of God’s goodness. He was able to recount the dealings of God with him; they were so often the subject of his meditation and matter of his discourse, that he had made them familiar to him.
JOHN FLAVEL: And now let me beg you to consider the good hand of Providence that hath provided for, and suitably supplied you and yours all your days, and never failed you hitherto: and labour to walk suitable to your experience of such mercies.