Monday, October 22, 2012

Set Your Face To The Wall And Pray

Brother, pray if you are between the jaws of death and hell. Pray, brother, if all hope seem to be utterly slain; ay, and if thou canst put thy finger on passages of God’s own word which apparently condemn thee, still pray. Whether thy fears have contorted those threatening passages or not, though many of them frown upon thee, still pray. Perish with thy hand on the horn of the altar if perish thou must. Never believe thy case to be utterly hopeless so long as thou canst plead with God. There can be no hurt come of thy supplication, but good must come of it in some form or other. If God do not prolong life in answer to prayer, as often as he may not, or nobody would ever die, yet still he may give a greater blessing than continued earthly existence; and if it be a greater blessing in God’s judgment, it is better for us to receive it than to have the precise thing we have craved.

In all cases “pray without ceasing.” The mercy seat once stood within the veil where none could approach it except at one set season in the year; but now the veil is rent from top to bottom, and you may come to it when you will. Therefore I charge you come boldly unto the throne of the heavenly grace in every time of need; yea, draw near in the darkest night, and in the most wintry season, when God seems to have forgotten to be gracious, and when thou thinkest he will be favorable no more.

“Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” Pray in the teeth of difficulty, pray though impossibility seem to stand in the way, pray against death and the devil; pray like Manasseh in the low dungeon, and like Jonah out of the belly of hell. Pray against conscience and carnal reason; I was going to say even pray against thy terrifying interpretation of God’s word itself, for thou must surely have misread it if thou hast thought that it forbids thee to pray: it cannot be so, since Jehovah’s glorious memorial is that he is the God that heareth prayer. He has never said to the seed of Jacob, seek ye my face in vain. He may say, and he knows his own meaning when he says it, “Thou shalt die, and not live,” and yet he may afterwards declare, “I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.” He will be favorable unto the voice of thy supplication.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Love's Medicines and Miracles," delivered January 21, 1877. Image by mendhak on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Enough of Questioning

Noah came into the ark and his wife, and his sons and their wives. Their obedience was unquestioning. We do not find them asking anything at all, about the reason for the command; but they came as they were bidden. They passed through the doorway, and they were all in the ark. Fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and their wives, daughters and their husbands, and all of you, oh that the blessed Spirit would put you now into such a frame of mind that you should at once yield to the divine precept which says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

Have you not asked questions enough? You have had some of them answered, but every answer has only helped you to invent another dozen questions. Oh, those questions! these quibbles! those debates! those doubts! those cavillings! They are ruining thousands.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Family Sermon." Image by Mizrak on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Faith Makes Men Strong

Faith makes men strong - not in the head, but in the heart. Doubting people are generally headstrong - the Thomas-sort of people who obstinately declare that they will not believe unless they can have proofs of their own choosing. If you read certain newspapers, journals, quarterly reviews, and so on, you will see that the doubting people who are always extolling scepticism and making out that there is more faith in their doubt than in half the creeds, and so on, are particularly strong in the upper region, namely, in the head, only it is that sort of head-strength which implies real weakness, for obstinacy seldom goes with wisdom. They are always sneering at believers as a feeble folk, which is a clear sign that they are not very strong themselves; for evermore is this a rule without exception, that when a man despises his opponent he is himself the party who ought to be despised.

When certain writers rave about “evangelical platitudes,” as they commonly do, they only see in others a fault with which they are largely chargeable themselves. Anybody who glances at the sceptical literature of the present day will bear me out that the platitudes have gone over to the doubting side of the house. No people can write such fluent nonsense, and talk such absurdity, as the school of modem doubt and “culture:” they think themselves the wisest of the wise, but, professing to be wise, they have become fools, and I know what I say.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Cheery Word In Troublous Times." Image by flatworldsedge on Flickr under Creative Commons License.