Words of Divine Comfort, Octavius Winslow—1872
“Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh–is there anything too hard for me?”–Jer. 32:26, 27
The believer has nothing to do in his religious life with anything, as his guide and directory, except with the Word of the Lord. Not with the “ifs” and the “buts” of unbelief–not with the changeful frames and experiences of the soul–not with the ever-varying providences of God–but with the Word of the Lord alone, eternally settled in heaven, and which lives and abides forever. With a “Thus says the Lord,” the believer may confound every suggestion of Satan, may silence every “if” and “but” of unbelief, rise above each shifting phase of Christian experience, and anticipate with confidence and composure the solemn moment of his departure out of this world to go unto the Father. Have we, in the course of our daily thoughts, met with a “Thus says the Lord” more precious and comforting than this–“Is anything too hard for Me? says the Lord”? Let us meditate upon it for a moment, and extract from it the honey that will enlighten and revive us even more than that which David’s weary and exhausted army experienced from the honey they found in the forest.
This condescending challenge of our God, while it conveys to us a gentle rebuke, contains also a self-evident truth. The answer of faith would admit of not a moment’s hesitation. The reason is simple. Can anything finite outdistance infinity? Can any difficulty confound it? Can any contingency thwart it? Can any demand exhaust it? Can any sin out-measure it? In a word, can anything be too hard for God? Oh, no! We deal with INFINITY, with whom nothing is too hard, and nothing impossible, except that He should lie. “That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible far God to lie, we might have a strong consolation.”
Let us consider these words of God as a great strengthening of our faith. We need every view of God calculated to enlarge our thoughts of His greatness, and to increase our faith in His power and love. Our low thoughts and limited views of God lie at the root of all unholiness. Our hatred of sin will be in proportion to our conception of God’s holiness, the infinite purity of His nature, and the spirituality and extent of His love. Behold, then, the strength faith may derive from its dealing with God’s all-sufficiency! The difficulty that has out-measured your power–the perplexity that has confounded your wisdom–the impossibility that has paralyzed your efforts–the demand that has exhausted your resources. But what is it all that with God? Let your faith, then, deal not with yourself, but with God–not with your perplexity, but with His wisdom–not with your difficulty, but with His power–not with your need, but with His wealth–not with your vileness and ingratitude, but with His great love, grace, and all-sufficient merit treasured in Christ Jesus.
Let this view of God encourage you to cast yourself upon His boundless mercy in Christ Jesus. Is any sin too great, any guilt too deep, any ingratitude and unworthiness too vast for the compass of His pardoning grace lodged in the Son of His love? Oh, no! If His salvation could not and did not reach infinitely beyond the utmost bound of human sin, guilt, and unworthiness, then there would be a limit to Infinity. But this is impossible.
Let this view of God’s all-sufficiency deepen our love to Him. Faith works by love. They are twin graces in the renewed soul. The closer the transactions of your faith with God–dealing with Him in all the little things of life–the deeper will be your love to Him! The more intimate our acquaintance with God in Christ, the warmer will be our love. Sinners have not the love of God in them, because He is to them an unknown God. They know not what a God they hate, rebel and sin against. But, my soul, you have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, and in the trials and needs, the sins and sorrows you have transacted with Him; you have known Him but to confide in Him; and have trusted Him but to love Him; and have loved Him but to go forth and live and labor, and, if need be, die for Him.