“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the ‘Lordy and His wonders in the deep. Tor He commandethy and raiseth the stormy windy which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heavens, they go down to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.” (Psalm 107:23-26)
How true this is! And yet our cowardly hearts do so shrink from those “great waters.” We prefer to carry on our traffic in the shallows, and as a result, we fail to see “the works” and “wonders” of our Father; for these can only be seen and known “in the deep.”
It is in the day of trial and difficulty that the believer experiences something of the deep and untold blessedness of being able to count upon the Father. Were all to go on smoothly, this would not be so. It is not in gliding along the surface of a tranquil lake that the reality of His presence is known; but actually when the tempest roars, and the waves roll over the ship. The Father does not hold out to us the prospect of exemption from trial and tribulation; quite the opposite: He tells us we shall have to meet both the one and the other; but He promises to be with us in them, and this is infinitely better.
Our Father’s presence in the trial is much better than exemption from the trial. The sympathy of His heart with us is sweeter far than the power of His hand for us. His presence with His faithful servants passing through the furnace was better far than the display of His power to keep them out of it (Daniel 3).
We would frequently desire to be allowed to pass on our way without trial, but this would involve serious loss. The Lord Jesus’ presence is never so blessed as in moments of appalling difficulty.
Written: C.H. Mackintosh
Acknowledgement: THE GOSPEL WITNESS Issue 7
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