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earnestly desirous not to sin against Thee in thought, more earnestly set against every evil thing
If my affections were truly spiritual, could such thoughts . find entrance ? Lord, it humbles me deeply, that they ever should. Oh, quicken me by Thy Spirit; fill me with Thy Word, and with thoughts of Thee and of right and holy things; close up every opening by which these hurtful thoughts and fancies might enter; and so fill my
mind with heavenly thoughts, that there may be no room for such as these.
Thus, O my Father, do I pray to Thee now; and thus give me grace to pray in the hour of temptation. “I hate vain thoughts ;
“ but Thy law do I love." Oh, make that to be true of me, now and always! “Oh, turn away mine eyes, lest they behold vanity; and quicken Thou me in Thy way."
A TOKEN ASKED FOR.
“ Show me a token for good; that they which hate me
may see it, and be ashamed, because Thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me.”—Psalm lxxxvi. 17.
DAVID's enemies thought God had forsaken him. When they saw him in want and danger and distress, and obliged to flee from his kingdom, “Where is thy God?” they
“ said. Probably the unbelieving among his companions joined in the taunting question, for we read, “As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God ? ” (Psalm xlii. 10.) They might outwardly take his side, and adhere to him, but they were enemies and not friends who thus spoke against his God. In another psalm, he seems to be replying to their taunts, when he says,
“Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity;
He has prayed then, and the Lord has heard and answered him. Yes; and here we have his prayer, or
one of his prayers : “ Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed, because Thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me." The Lord did show him a token for good; not only in assuring him that He heard his weeping and supplication, but also probably in some other way which they who hated him saw, some visible help, which showed that God had not forsaken him.
I hope I have no enemies, none who hate me; and certainly I am not vexed by any such taunting questions as this, “Where is now thy God ?” And yet it may be that some who know that I have tried to serve God and now see me so heavily afflicted may have the thought that God has forsaken me, that my trust in Him is but a vain trust,
that He either cannot or will not help me in my need.
O my God and Father, for the glory of Thy name, show me some token for good, in order that such (if any such there be) may see it, and be ashamed, because Thou hast holpen me and comforted me! let all see that Thou dost not leave me alone, but that Thou art both able and willing to help me. Show some token, give some visible sign, such as men may see and acknowledge.
Thou dost already give me many an inward token of Thy grace. Often, when all things seem against me, and my pain and discomfort is increased, and those around express pity for me, often at such times Thou art near me, and dost comfort my heart with Thy presence, and bring to my mind many a word of promise, and speak peace to me by Thy Spirit. These are tokens for good which Thou dost send me, and for which I gratefully say, “The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping, the Lord hath heard my supplication.” But, O my Father, may I ask yet more? Oh, let me humbly beseech Thee, for my Saviour's
sake, and for the glory of Thy name, to show me some such token for good as shall bring all to acknowledge that Thou dost indeed never fail to help and comfort those who put their trust in Thee. Gracious Father, they know that I pray to Thee, and they have heard me express trust in Thee; now, for Thy dear Son's sake, send me such relief as may show them that those who seek Thee do not seek Thee in vain.
And for my own sake also, O my Father, show me some token for good. For, though I have many a peaceful thought and much inward proof that Thou art with me, yet weariness and painfulness are apt to weaken faith, and at times I feel discouraged by the long time and the seeming want of amendment. Lord, if it please Thee, show me some token for good. Open my eyes to see the tokens Thou dost already give me. In the midst of pain let me feel the kind and tender hand that is dealing with me; let me not be blind to the alleviations Thou sendest, let me not overlook the lesser tokens of Thy love: but I venture to ask Thee,