Think about such things
Arthur Pink, 1935
In the midst of so much that is depressing and saddening, it becomes the more necessary for the Christian's heart and mind to be occupied with that which is elevating and joy-producing, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" (Phil. 4:8). Instead of dwelling so much upon the evil fruits which sin bears—we need to be more engaged with the glorious things which Divine grace produces. This is what the editor has sought to keep before him from month to month, and year to year. He realizes that he has by no means fully succeeded, for here too it is no easy matter to preserve the balance of truth. There are alarms which need to be sounded, faults which need pointing out, diseases requiring to be ministered unto; yet the performance of such duties must not absorb the entire, or even principal, attention of God's servant. There is also good news to be proclaimed, a glorious Christ to delight our souls, precious promises to comfort, amazing grace to be extolled!
It is wrong for the Christian to dwell too much on the state of this poor world, the advancing apostasy in Christendom, the workings of Satan, and the depravity of his own heart. There is no food for the soul in such things, nothing that stimulates to praise and thanksgiving, nothing which lifts up above the things of time and sense. The heart needs to be more occupied with those things which will cause him to bring his "harp" into use, which will put a song into his mouth, which will send him on his way rejoicing. But where are such things to be found? Not in the doings of the creature, not in the achievements of art and science, not in any of the productions of man. No, we must look elsewhere, for that which will deliver us from gloom and despondency, "Set your affection on things above—not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2).
"Among the gods there is none like unto You, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto Your works" (Psalm 86:8). Ah, these are what should engage the attention of the saint; the wondrous "works" of the Lord. Note well the connection between these two verses, "Praise the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation," and "The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein" (Psalm 111:1, 2). What was it there, which stirred up the Psalmist into praising the Lord? Why, His wondrous, glorious, perfect "works." Those "works" are indeed "great"—the only ones entitled to be so designated.
Man is fond of describing his achievements by high-sounding terms, such as "marvelous achievements," "astounding exploits," "amazing productions," etc.; but what are all of them in comparison with the works of the Lord? Man cannot so much as create a blade of grass, change the Ethiopian's skin—far less can he raise the dead. But God's "works" are "great" in wisdom, great in power, great in glory. There are none like unto His, which is freely acknowledged when "sought out of all who have pleasure therein." "Among the gods there is none like unto You, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto Your works" (Psalm 86:8). As a hint to our many preacher-friends, the wondrous "works" of Jehovah, first in creation, second in providence, third in grace, might be dwelt upon to advantage.
As a word to the wise is sufficient, we will not here attempt to work out a complete outline for them—but trust that not a few will heed the hint and seek to make a sermon magnifying the goodness of God as evidenced in His wondrous "works."