The Sure Resource
by James Smith, 1860
"A friend in need — is a friend indeed." Such a friend we often want — but often seek in vain.
Our need of a friend, arises from our troubles, trials, and difficulties, which we meet with in our way home; and God in his holy word, proposes to be that friend. He therefore . . .
invites us to come to him in trouble,
promises to be with us in trouble, and
engages to deliver us out of trouble.
We cannot escape trouble — but we may have our troubles sanctified, and turned into real blessings. Let us not then be discouraged, or disheartened, by the prospect of troubles — but with the Psalmist say, "In the day of my trouble I will call upon you; for you will answer me." Psalm 86:7. He looks forward to:
A Trying Season, "the day of my trouble," or my day of trouble.
Our troubles sometimes flow from God — in the form of bodily diseases, bereavements, or death.
Sometimes they come from men — from good men, who may painfully disappoint us; or from bad men who may deal severely with us.
But our worst troubles are traceable to ourselves,
to . . .
our inbred sins,
our fleshly lusts,
our worldly mindedness, and
our tampering with temptation.
But however severe our troubles may be — they are
limited; it is "the DAY of our trouble." We have months of pleasure,
and years of health — but only days of trouble. The period is
short — though painful. It may appear long — when we are in it.
For days of trouble now — we have an eternity of happiness
before us. Nor only so — but in trouble we have a sure resource:
the throne of grace is erected for us,
the gracious promise is given us, and
God waits to be gracious unto us.
Let us therefore with David, form,
This Settled Purpose, "I will call upon you." I will turn from creatures, and from circumstances — to God. I will not complain to man, I will cry to God. I will not murmur at your dealings, or complain of my lot — but I will turn to God.
I will cry unto you — for you have bidden me, and will therefore be gracious unto me.
I will cry unto you — for necessity is laid upon me, I must cry or sink under my burden.
I will cry unto you — for my relation to you, and connection with you, warrants me — you are my God, my Deliverer, my Father.
I will cry unto you — and so relief will be afforded me, for you have said, "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."
I believe your word, I rely on your faithfulness, I will test your veracity, and I shall prove that you will deliver me in six troubles, and in seven — you will not forsake me. Here then is my,
Firm Persuasion, "You will answer me."
You will answer me — for it is your character, your conduct, "O you who hears prayer."
You will answer me — for you have promised, "Then shall you call, and the Lord shall answer; you shall cry, and he shall say, Here I am." "Call upon me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you know not."
You will answer me — for it is your nature, for "for God is love."
You will answer me — for it is your delight, you delight in mercy.
Yes, you will answer me — though I am poor and needy.
You will answer me — though I am weak and feeble.
You will answer me — though I am destitute and friendless.
You will answer me — though I am sinful and unworthy.
You will certainly answer me, and answer me speedily too!
Beloved, we may expect trouble. It is appointed
for us. It is needful for us. But let us not be alarmed at
the prospect of trouble, for it is provided for in the covenant, and
deliverance is secured to us by promise. Let us then beseech the throne
of grace. God will . . .
sympathize with us,
acknowledge his word,
give us present support, and
in the end complete deliverance!
Let us therefore expect deliverance. He who has delivered his people in all times past — delivers now; in him therefore we may confidently trust that he will yet deliver us.
The last day of trouble will soon be here,
the last cry of distress will soon be uttered,
the last application for relief will soon be made,
the last answer to prayer will soon be received — and
then all will be peace, pleasure, and perfect holiness forever!
Lost sinner, what will you do in trouble? Evil is before
you. The evil days draw near. What will you do, with . . .
no God to go to,
no promise to rest on,
no deliverance to expect.
What will you do? Seek the Lord now — before the day of trouble comes. Make the Lord your friend now — before your great need of a friend is felt. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ now, be reconciled to God now, seek and obtain peace by the blood of the cross now — and then you too may say, "In the day of my trouble, I will call upon you; for you will answer me!"
Dear refuge of my weary soul,
On you, when sorrows rise,
On you, when waves of trouble roll,
My fainting hope relies.
To you I'll tell each rising grief.
For you alone can heal;
Your word can bring a sweet relief
For every pain I feel.
Your mercy-seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat;
With humble hope attend your will.
And wait beneath your feet!