Labouring After Healing
“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord, that walketh in His ways. For thou shall eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.”
Blessed is every one that walketh in His ways. Not that walketh in our ways, but in His. We cannot by nature comprehend His way, that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and not the righteous.
We think, Now to-day I have watched, and not fallen into sin. Now Christ will surely love me. But this sets us at an infinite distance from Him. It is the utmost abomination to Him.
“No,” says He: “if you are already washed, you have no need of Me.”
“For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands.”
Not any fleshly labour; but when we tremble at the judgments of God and at His Word, this will bring on great labour and sorrow, which is the spiritual labour set forth here.
Such will hear the voice: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour.”
Therefore let me entreat you not to look only on the sore, but to the promised help of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not ponder on the impossibilities and the evils, but consider Him and His power. For when you are most filled with fear and think your entanglements so strong and that you have been so long in them you will never get out, then is the very time that Christ comes. If there be the incorruptible seed in you in the very least degree, it will lead you to fear and tremble exceedingly when there comes on you a deadness to spiritual things, no sense or feeling, but a stupid frame; and to examine minutely into the causes of this declension, and to bring them before God. If these things are not in you, it is because you have not the Spirit of the Lord and do not walk in His ways, nor labour to be right with Him. For your declension and distance and deadness are marks at the best of God’s great displeasure; and you have need to examine your sore, for you may find it infinitely worse than you have any idea of, very terrible indeed, and that you have not the Holy Spirit to help you. For if He does help you, you will surely be led to this scrutiny and spiritual labour.
I have never yet failed of rinding relief in humble confession and prayer. I have always found the Lord a kind Friend in the time of extremity. But He will be inquired of to do these things for us, and when I have been enabled to make Him my Refuge in good earnest, I have never known Him to fail me, or forsake me.
I hope the Lord will make you well to remember when spiritual liberty is lost. If the Spirit of God has discovered to you such death and distance, He will also work in you repentance unto life, and make you very fearful of continuing in such a place.
Be sure you be watchful and very tender of sad discoveries. Do not trifle with them, lest a worse thing come upon you. The light of the body is the eye; but if you shut that eye by sin, you know not whither to go.
I have often found the good of rather dwelling upon what the Lord says He will do for us, than considering what I am to do to attain these things. We are needy beggars, whether we know it or not. We have need to examine well His Word, and what the Lord has promised to do for such.
“But O,” say you, “my sore rankles and pinches.”
True, and can you mend it by your pity?
What brought on the sore?
What makes it rankle?
Your looking at it will not mend it, and if you are too proud to look up at the brazen Serpent, then you must perish. God has set up His dear Son for the salvation of sinners that are stung to death. This brazen Serpent becomes the resurrection and the life to those who look upon It. He heals the wound sin has made, and carries us safely through all future troubles, let them be what they may. Thus God is glorified, and the sinner saved and humbled.
A Morning Reading by James Bourne – 1841