“Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.”– Psa_107:43.
THERE ARE many ways of understanding the lovingkindness or mercy of the Lord. We may know it as a matter of doctrine. The best way of increasing our knowledge of God’s infinite nature, is by the reverent study of His Word. It is a flimsy religion which discounts doctrine. What the bones are to the body, doctrine is to our moral and spiritual life. What law is to the material universe, doctrine is to the spiritual. The doctrines of grace are the jewelled foundations of a holy life. Seek the ministry that builds on them; read the books that acknowledge them! We may know it by meditation. Would that we yielded more silent hearts to the Holy Spirit, that He might fix our vagrant thoughts on the love of Christ that passeth knowledge! The love that loved us in Eternity, that has never let us go in Time, and that has shown its uttermost intensity by the wounds of Calvary! We may also know it sympathetically. Kepler, the great astronomer, exclaimed one day: “I have been thinking over again the earliest thoughts of God”; and surely every time we sacrifice ourselves for others, or carry another’s cross, in the glow of a warm heart, we are feeling a tiny pulsation of His love.
Do we sufficiently praise God for His lovingkindness and truth? We are keen to pray, to cry out for help, but do we stop to enumerate the mercies and to render praise for them? “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psa_107:8, Psa_107:15, Psa_107:21, Psa_107:31). How often I have awoke tired and out-of-heart, the harp on the willows, the soul like a lark beaten down by an east wind; and when the usual Bible-study has failed to grip, or prayer has seemed cold and mechanical, the disconsolate heart has started to praise, to give thanks for mercies received, and to adore the majesty and glory of God. As one has thus continued, the soul has thawed, the spirit has found wings, the horizon has cleared, and the angel-song has broken in with its Hallelujah! We are thus transported into the Divine Presence-Chamber; we have obtained joy and gladness, our night is gone, and “sorrow and sighing have fled away.”
Father, Thou hast loved us; Thou dost love us; Thou wilt love us for evermore. Thy love passes knowledge. It is like a warm, sunlit ocean enwrapping the tiny islet of my life. I bathe in it, but can never reach its limits. I thank Thee for its depths and lengths. AMEN.