"And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Iscac, the lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: Deliver me, i pray thee."(Gen. 32:9, 11.)
THERE are many healthy symptoms in that prayer. In some respects it may serve as a mould into which our own spirits may pour themselves, when melted in the fiery furnace of sorrow.
He began by quoting God's promise: "Thou saidst." He did so twice (9 and 12). Ah, he has got God in his power then! God puts Himself within our reach in His promises; and when we can say to Him, "Thou saidst," He cannot say nay. He must do as He has said. If Herod was so particular for his oath's sake, what will not our God be? Be sure in prayer, to get your feet well on a promise; it will give you purchase enough to force open the gates of heaven, and to take it by force?Practical Portions for the prayer-life.
Jesus desires that we shall be definite in our requests, and that we shall ask for some special thing. "What will ye that I shall do unto you?" is the question that He asks of every one who in affliction and trial comes to Him. Make your requests with definite earnestness if you would have definite answers. Aimlessness in prayer accounts for so many seemingly unanswered prayers. Be definite in your petition. Fill out your check for something definite, and it will be cashed at the bank of Heaven when presented in Jesus' Name. Dare to be definite with God. --- Selected.
Miss Havergal has said: "Every year, I might almost say every day, that I live, I seem to see more clearly how all the rest and gladness and power of our Christian life hinges on one thing; and that is, taking God at His word, believing that He really means exactly what he says, and accepting the very words in which He reveals His goodness and grace, without substituting others or altering the precise modes and tenses which he has seen fit to use."
Bring Christ's Word——Christ's promise, and Christ's sacrifice——His blood, with thee, and not one of Heaven's blessings can be denied thee.
--- Adam Clarks.
“雅各说，耶和华，我祖亚伯拉罕的神，我父亲以撒的神啊，你曾对我说，回你本地本族去，我要厚待你….求你救我.”(创世记叁十二章9节，11节。)在这个祷告中有好几点可以做我们的帮助，使我们在忧伤的火窑中知道如何向神倾心吐意。雅各开场就把神的应许拿出来提醒神：“你…曾说。”他这样说了两次。(九节，十二节). 啊，他抓住了神！原来神的应许就是神给我们的把柄，我们能藉着这个去抓住他；甚么时侯我们能对他说：“你曾说”，他决不能说不。他必须照他所说的去做。希律王尚且能守信，何况我们的神呢？所以我们祷告的时侯，应当把我们的脚站稳在他的应许上；这样，天上的门也只得为你敞开了，那时你可以用武力去取你所求的。——译自《实用祷告生活》(Praticial Portions for the Prayer-life)主耶稣要我们有专一的祷告。每一个因痛苦，试炼，而来就他的人，他都问他们说：“要我为你做甚么？”(马可福音十章五十一节)如果你盼望有清楚的答应，就得有清楚的祷告。没有目的的祷告，是没有答应的。所以你的祷告应当专一。在你祷告的支票上写明指定的数目，天上的银行看见了主耶稣的名字，就要付你指定的现款。——选。海弗格而(Havergal)女士说：“每年，每天，我活着，真看见基督人所有的安息，喜乐，能力，都因着一件事情：就是以神的话为算数——相信他怎样说，就必怎样做。我们该照他所用的字眼去接受，切勿更改或变换他所用的语气和时候。”只要把基督的话语——基督的应许，和基督的宝血拿出来，天上的祝福就没有一样能不给你了。——葛拉克(AdamClarke)
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."(Heb. 11:6.)
THE faith for desperate days.
The Bible is full of such days. Its record is made up of them, its songs are inspired by them, its prophecy is concerned with them, and its revelation has come through them.
The desperate days are the stepping-stones in the path of light. They seem to have been God's opportunity and man's school of wisdom.
There is a story of an Old Testament love feast in Psalm 107, and in every story of deliverance the point of desperation gave God His chance. The "wit's end" of desperation was the beginning of God's power. Recall the promise of seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sands of the sea, to a couple as good as dead. Read again the story of the Red Sea and its deliverance, and of Jordan with its ark standing mid-stream. Study once more the prayers of Asa, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah, when they were sore pressed and knew not what to do. Go over the history of Nehemiah, Daniel, Hosea, and Habakkuk. Stand with awe in the darkness of Gethsemane, and linger by the grave in Joseph's garden through those terrible days. Call the witnesses of the early Church, and ask the apostles the story of their desperate days.
Desperation is better than despair.
Faith did not make our desperate days. its work is to sustain and solve them. The only alternative to a desperate faith is despair, and faith holds on and prevails.
There is no more heroic example of desperate faith than that of the three Hebrew Children. The situation was desperate, but they answered bravely, "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. but if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." I like that," but if not!"
I have only space to mention Gethsemane. Ponder deeply its" Nevertheless." "If it is possible....nevertheless!" Deep darkness had settled upon the soul of our Lord. Trust meant anguish unto blood and darkness to the descent of hell?Nevertheless! Nevertheless!
Now get your hymn book and sing your favorite hymn of desperate faith.
--- Rev. S. Chadwick. "When obstacles and trials seem Like prison walls to be, I do the little I can do And leave the rest to Thee.
"And when there seems no chance, no change, From grief can set me free, Hope finds its strength in helplessness, And calmly waits for Thee."
"Look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it." (Gen. 13:14, 15.)
NO instinct can be put in you by the Holy Ghost but He purposes to fulfill. Let your faith then rise and soar away and claim all the land you can discover. --- S. A. Keen.
All you can apprehend in the vision of faith is your own. Look as far as you can, for it is all yours. All that you long to be as a Christian, all that you long to do for God, are within the possibilities of faith.
Then come, still closer, and with your Bible before you, and your soul open to all the influences of the Spirit, let your whole being receive the baptism of His presence; and as He opens your understanding to see all His fullness, believe He has it all for you. Accept for yourself all the promises of his word, all the desires He awakens within you, all the possibilities of what you may be as a follower of Jesus. All the land you see is given to you.
The Actual provisions of His grace come from the inner vision. he who puts the instinct in the bosom of yonder bird to cross the continent in search of summer sunshine in the Southern clime is too good to deceive it, and just as surely as He has put the instinct in its breast, so has He also put the balmy breezes and vernal sunshine yonder to meet it when it arrives.
He who breathes into our hearts the heavenly hope, will not deceive or fail us when we press forward to its realization. --- Selected.
"And they found as he had said unto them." (Luke 22:13.)
"And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon a heap."(Joshua 3:13.)
BRAVE Levites! Who can help admiring them, to carry the Ark right into the stream; for the waters were not divided till their feet dipped in the water (ver. 15). God had not promised aught else. God honors faith. "Obstinate faith," that the PROMISE sees and "looks to that alone," You can fancy how the people would watch these holy men march on, and some of the bystanders would be saying, "You would not catch me running that risk! Why, man, the ark will be carried away!" not so; "the priests stood firm on dry ground." We must not overlook the fact that faith on our part helps God to carry out His plans." /come up to the help of the Lord."
The Ark hand staves for the shoulders. Even the Ark did not move of itself; it was carried. When God is the architect, men are the masons and laborers. Faith assists god. It can stop the mouth of lions and quench the violence of fire. It yet honors God, and God honors it. Oh, for this faith that will go on, leaving God to fulfill His promise when He sees fit! Fellow Levites, let us shoulder our load, and do not let us look as if we were carrying God's coffin. It is the Ark of the living God! Sing as you march towards the flood! --- Thomas Champness.
One of the special marks of the Holy Ghost in the Apostolic Church was the spirit of boldness. One of the most essential qualities of the faith that is to attempt, great things for God, and expect great things from God, is holy audacity. Where we are dealing with a supernatural Being, and taking from Him things that are humanly impossible, it is easier to take much than little; it is easier to stand in a place of audacious trust than in a place of cautious, timid clinging to the shore.
Like wise seamen in the life of faith, let us launch out into the deep, and find that all things are possible with God, and all things are possible unto him that believeth.
Let us, today, attempt great things for God; take His faith and believe for them and His strength to accomplish them. --- Days of Heaven upon Earth. 《荒漠甘泉》3月28日
“等到抬普天下主耶和华约柜的祭司把脚站在约但河水里，约但河的水，就是从上往下流的水，必然断绝，立起成垒” (约书亚记叁章13节。)勇敢的利未人！谁能不佩服他们的胆量——抬了约柜伸脚到还未分开的水中去。神也一无其他的勉励和应许，只等待看他们的信心。神重视信心。尤其是不凭理由的信心，你可以推想当初许多百姓，看见这些利未人抬了约柜下水，他们一定发急地说：“要是我，决不这样作无谓的牺牲！冒这样大的险！可惜，他们和约柜就要被约但河的急流冲去了！”可是，并不这样；“抬耶和华约柜的祭司在约但河中的干地上站定”，(十七节) 我们不要小看信心，我们的信心能帮助神成功他的计划。“……来帮助耶和华”(士师记五章二十叁节。)信心能帮助神。信心能叫神封住狮子的口，能叫神使火失其利害。这并非说：没有人的信心，神就失去他的全能，而不能作什么；他仍能，可是他即使作了，他得不着荣耀。他若封住狮子的口，只叫它饿一天罢了；他使火失其利害，只使宇宙中间多一件反常的事罢了。并没有什么意思。神根据人的信心这么作了，才能从大利乌与尼布甲尼撒口中得到称颂。信心荣耀神，所以神也重视信心。真信心有了神的应许就满足了——它肯让神拣选神看为适当的时侯来完成他的应许，不管那时侯有多久。今天在恩典下同作利未人的哪，让我们凭着无理由的信心，抬起神的应许来，不要想我们抬的是神的棺材。这是永活之神的约柜呀！让我们一面唱歌，一面下水罢！——强卜奈斯(Thomas Champness)勇敢的精神是使徒时代教会的特点。如果我们想为神做大事业，想从神得到大使命，我们必须有勇敢的信心。如果我们与超然的神接触，向他要人力所不能得到的东西，我告诉你：拿得多比拿得少还容易；大胆地站在应许上比胆怯地攀住海岸来得容易。让我们相信：在神凡事都能；并且更相信：在信的人，凡事都能！让我们今天来替神作大事业；相信他的能力是能完成一切的。——译自《在地上的天上生活》——(Days of Heaven upon Earth)