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My times are not in fate's hand, or chance's hand; but “in Thy hand;" in my Father's hand, in the hand of Him Who does all in perfect wisdom and perfect love. My heart fixes itself on that little word. " Thy" means my Father's, my God's, my Saviour's hand ! Oh, let it be enough to reconcile me to all delay and to every disappointment, that my times are in my Father's hand. I would not take them out of His hand. I am glad and thankful that He will not let me, that He keeps them in His hand. His time of refreshing will come when He sees fit. This very time may be such, if He grant me His presence and grace.
For there is this about 66 my times,” that, different as they are from one another, they are all alike in this, that my Father will be with me through them all. Not only are my times in His hand, but I myself am, my soul and body, and all my concerns.
He will not leave me in any one of my times. Never will that time come, when He will forsake me, and turn away from my prayer. If my times,
: O Father, are all times spent with Thee,
times of grace, times of growth, times in which Thou art dealing with me, then let me welcome any times Thou art pleased to send me, and never for a moment allow myself to wish that my times were anywhere but where they are—" in Thy hand.”
Thou art my loving Father, and Thou art not indifferent even to the desires of Thy children. Thou wilt not disregard my longing for the sweet blessing of health, Thou wilt not reject my prayer for the abatement of my pain. Thou takest notice of all I feel, and all I desire, and all I ask. Thou wilt send relief just when it is best. “My times are in Thy hand.” The time of relief and com
. fort is kept in reserve for me there, “in Thy hand.”
THE GOD OF HOPE.
“ The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in
believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”—Rom. xv. 13.
I Am apt to despond; but I ought to hope, to abound in hope, to be full of hope. How can I rise from despondency, and become
, hopeful ? How can I get a hopeful spirit ?
Surely by going to Him Who is “the God of hope." But what does this title mean“the God of hope”? God is “the God of love," because He loves, and “the God of all comfort," because He comforts; but He cannot be “the God of hope” because He hopes, for He Who is Almighty and Infinite cannot hope. No, He is “the God of hope because He gives hope, and is the object of
hope. I am to hope in Him, and I am to seek hope of Him.
What this man of God, writing by inspiration, wished and prayed for on behalf of others, that I will think of, and wish for, and ask for, on my own behalf. These inspired words teach me to do so.
But here are three things to seek, not one only, and all from “the God of hope”-joy, peace, and hope. And, of these three, joy and peace are put before hope, and hope is spoken of as if it sprang from them.
But then, this joy and peace are “in believing," all rests on faith.
First then, O my God, I must believe ; and the fuller and stronger my belief, the greater will be my joy and peace. But this too is Thy gift. Lord, grant me to believe, and to believe more simply and fully. I believe a little; help me to believe more. I believe in Thee, I believe in Jesus my Saviour, I believe in all that Thou art to me in Him, reconciled to me, forgiving and accepting me;
I believe in all that Thou art, and in all Thou hast said and promised. Now, 0 0 God, give me joy and peace in believing ; make me glad in believing, make my heart to be at peace in believing, glad and peaceful, not from already having all that heart can desire, but “in believing,” and that, in spite of many drawbacks in my present circumstances to joy and peace. While I rest
I my faith on Thee, O my God, by Jesus Christ my Saviour, do Thou even fill me with joy and peace. Even now, at the present time, in my weakness and sickness and trouble, even now fill me with joy and peace in believing. Is this too much to ask? Oh no, this is the very thing which Paul desired for the Romans; and God the Holy Spirit caused the words to be written, that I might ask too.
But now comes the further wish and prayer —for hope. The joy and peace are for the present time, the hope is for the future. But if God fill me with joy and peace now, how can I be desponding about the future? I rejoice, because I believe; but true belief takes in the future as well as the present; for the God in Whom I believe will not change, and the Saviour in Whom I rejoice