Monday, December 7, 2015

Be still my heart! these anxious cares
To thee are burdens, thorns, and snares;
They cast dishonor on Thy Lord,
And contradict His gracious Word.

Brought safely by His hand thus far,
Why wilt thou now give place to fear?
How canst thou want if He provide,
Or lose thy way with such a guide?

When first before His mercy-seat
Thou didst to Him thy all commit,
He gave thee warrant, from that hour,
To trust His wisdom, love, and power

Did ever trouble yet befall,
And He refuse to hear thy call?
And has He not His promise passed,
That thou shalt overcome at last?

Like David, thou mayest comfort draw,
Saved from the bear's and lion's paw;
Goliath's rage I may defy,
For God, my Savior, still is nigh.

He who has helped me hitherto,
Will help me all my journey through,
And give me daily cause to raise
New Ebenezers to His praise.

Though rough and thorny be the road,
It leads thee home, apace to God;
Then count thy present trials small,
For heaven will make amends for all.
                                     John Newton

     The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past.  Twenty years or seventy, and yet "hitherto the Lord hath helped!"  Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honor, in dishonor, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "hitherto the Lord hath helped us!"
    We delight to look down a long avenue of trees.  It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves.   Cannot you look down the long aisles of your years, look at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of loving kindness and faithfulness which bear your joys?  Are there no birds in yonder branches singing?  And the bright sunshine and the blue sky are yonder; and if you turn round in the far distance, you may see heaven's brightness and a throne of gold.  "Hitherto! hitherto!"
     But the word also points forward.  For when a man gets up to a certain mark, and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end; there is still a distance to be traversed.  More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death.  Is it over now?  No! there is more yet — awakening in Jesus' likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fulness of eternity, the infinity of bliss.  0, be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer,"
for —
    He who hath helped thee hitherto
    Will help thee all thy journey through.
                                                    John Newton

When read in heaven's light, how glorious and marvellous a prospect will thy "hitherto” unfold to thy grateful eye!
                                                                                                                                 C. H. Spurgeon

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