for Earthly Cares
From the Numerical Bible
The remedy for care that the Lord proposes to His people
in these verses is a two-fold one, and we must take the two parts together. The
failure that so many Christians experience as to this is because they separate
what the Lord has joined together. Perhaps there are some reading this who have
found Christ, and to whom His blood has spoken peace as far as their
consciences are concerned, whose hearts nevertheless have a burden of care that
prevents true and proper rest. Why is this, beloved? Ought not the one who
knows Jesus to have found in Him a remedy as much for care as for fear? For
restlessness as for guilt? For the troubles of this life as for the judgment to
come? Surely it ought to be so, and why is it not? It is because people will
talk of their circumstances as if it were impossible for the Lord Himself to
keep the heart and mind at rest in the midst of their own peculiar
surroundings! What unbelief is shown in this and what dishonor is done to Him
by it! All the difficulties and trials of the way are really but the occasion
for the display of the unfailing resources and the unchanging grace of Him who
continually watches over and cares for His own.
This is the first thing to consider: He does care! The love that gave Jesus up for us upon the cross is not exhausted even by that, but is proven to be inexhaustible! "He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32). "Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Luke 12:7). What you would not care to do for yourself, He has done! Do we think of the hairs that fall from our head? He does! If Almighty Love cares thus for me, what a remedy this is for my cares! Blessed be His Name, He who has given me a place before Himself in all the value and beauty of His own blessed Son, has so dearly bought for Himself title to pour out His love on me, that surely He must delight to do it! And I, so blessed and cared for, how should I wrong Him, my Father and my God, by a single doubt as to the result!
Thus the soul enters into its rest. It is the real healing of the breach in Eden, the real "escap[ing] the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2 Pet. 1:4). For what is lust but the heart of man away from its own place of rest in the unquestioning consciousness of the goodness and love of God, seeking its own thingsbecause it must care for itself, if none care for it. Thus our Lords words rebuke our distrustful care about what to eat and drink and to be clothed with, "for after all these things do the Gentiles seek" (Matt. 6:32). Are we to be still "even as the Gentiles who know not God" (1 Thess. 4:5)?
But there is another thing connected with this. I believe many a soul would say, "Well, I know all this, but still somehow it has not its proper power with me at all. I know it is foolish and wrong, and yet I am anxious and troubled for all that." Now then, beloved, allow a plain, straightforward question: are you seeking "first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:33)? Are you truthfully and honestly out and out for God and His glory? That is the indispensable other ingredient in this remedy for care. God has been saying to you, His saved one, "I will care for you; I will leave you without the need of one single uneasy thought; I will attend to all that concerns your interests; and I will give you the privilege of undistracted occupation with your own things above, and with My interests below.
You want "purpose of heart" in this, or you cannot know what freedom from care is. Can you think that He who says that "all that is in the world ... is not of the Father" (1 John 2:16) will give you help to enjoy the world? If you are bent upon making money, or upon "getting on" in the world in any way, you know you cannot count upon Him to be with you in it. Hence anxiety and care come in at once. And what wonder? Of course all the assurances of a love even as infinite as His are thrown away upon you, while you are not seeking to live to Him, but to yourself.
You are weary. You have a restless, because a divided, heart. Your worldly plans do not give satisfaction, but rather a bad conscience. When you would turn to God, you find little satisfaction either, because you have a bad conscience. You are wasting your few moments here, heaping up sorrow for yourself under the sure government of One who has already assured us that "he who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption" (Gal. 6:8). There may not be anything outwardly evil in your life, but the question is, What is it that your heart really turns to for its proper joy? Can you ask God Himself, "Whom have I in heaven but Thee?" And can you say to Him, "There is none upon earth that I desire besides Thee" (Psa. 73:25)? Are you willing to have Him and His Word search and try you, "and see if there be any wicked way in [you]" (Psa. 139:23,24)? It may be but, as you would say, some "little thing"; but you may let Satan cheat you out of all your proper rest and joy by just "some little thing."
"There be many who say, Who will show us any good? LORD lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and wine increased" (Psa. 4:6,7).
-- F. W. Grant
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