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It was "in the Lord," the Lord alone, that David encouraged himself; yet David did something; he did not sit down and weep, and give himself up for lost; he made an effort, he encouraged himself. Even so, my soul, do thou rouse thyself; do not give way, do not sink down in hopeless distress; all is not lost, as long as the Lord is not lost to thee; and that He cannot, and will not be, if thou wilt look to Him, and cleave to Him. Encourage thyself in Him. Think of Him, turn to Him, lift up thyself to Him, seek Him, entreat Him, believe in Him, and trust in Him.
"In the Lord; " in David's Lord, in thy Lord; in thy God and Father, in thy Saviour; in Him with Whom all things are possible; in Jehovah; in Him Who loves thee, in Him of Whom it is written, "God is love." Turn away from distressful thoughts and feelings, turn away even from earthly helps, and encourage thyself "in the Lord." David did not do so for nothing. Be sure that, even while his heart went up to God, he felt encouraged; and then God gave him boldness to
pursue and overtake and recover all. I too will encourage myself in the Lord, and the Lord will not fail me. He will revive my heart by His Spirit; He will guide, and strengthen, and help, and deliver me.
"All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord, and Thy saints shall bless Thee."-Psalm cxlv. 10.
FROM where I lie I cannot see much; but the bright sunshine reaches me, and I can just see the tops of trees, and I can hear more than I can see. Through the open window I hear sweet summer sounds-the song of birds, and the rustling of leaves, and the many other sounds of nature. And sweet scents come up to me; the smell of mown grass, and of shrubs and flowers.
These sights and sounds and scents soothe and please me. Though I cannot get up, and go out, and enjoy them as others do, yet I have much quiet enjoyment of them here; for they are not far off, and they all speak to me of God.
It is this that makes me love them so. All these works of God seem to praise Him, and all make me feel His presence. In the song of birds I hear the voice of Him Who made them. The rustling of the leaves in the breeze speaks to me of the wondrous power that sets each leaf in motion, and reminds me of the breath of His Spirit. All these various sounds and scents speak to my senses and my heart of the Almighty and loving Creator. The summer air and the open window would not bring me half the pleasure I feel, if all things did not speak to me of God. "All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord." They do praise Thee; and they lead me to praise Thee.
But "Thy saints shall bless Thee;" Thy holy ones, they whose hearts Thou hast brought to Thee, they who love and serve Thee. If all the lesser works of God praise Him, how should His saints praise Him! Not only because they are men, who can know, and think, and speak; not only because, as men, they have powers which birds and trees and flowers have not; but
because God has graciously shown them His love, and drawn them to Himself, and taught them to see Him in His works and to experience His grace.
O my God, may I humbly take my place among Thy saints, Thy holy ones? Unworthy and sinful as I am, may I believe that, for my Redeemer's sake in Whom is all my trust, Thou dost number me among those whom Thou callest Thy saints? Then would I bless and praise Thee for this very thing, among a thousand others, that Thou dost condescend to place me, unworthy me, among those who bear so high a name. I have heard it used in the world as a name of reproach, I have heard some sneer at a godly man as saint." If, in the days of my blind ignorance, I have ever joined with such, Lord, forgive me! But now I think it a title of honour, far higher than any earthly title. Make me, O my God, more worthy of such a name; fill me with the Holy Ghost; pluck out from my heart every root of bitterness, bring down in me completely the power of evil, and make me a saint, a holy one, indeed.