Words of Divine Comfort, Octavius Winslow—1872
“I will do you no hurt.”–Jer. 25:6
What a tender, touching declaration of God is this! How condescending and considerate of His people’s feelings! Would God, could God hurt a hair of the head of His child, severe and painful though His dealings maybe? Oh, no! They may be called to leave their father’s house, as was Jacob–they may go down into Egypt, as did Israel–they may be tried in their children, as was Eli–they may be bereft of property and children and health, as was Job–they may be cast into the lions’ den, as was Daniel–and into the fiery furnace, as were the Hebrew children–they may have a thorn in the flesh, as did Paul–they may be banished, as was John–yet God will do them no hurt!
Nevertheless, His dealings with His beloved saints and servants of old, were but among the all things that worked together for their good. It was a mysterious; and to them a trying and afflictive way. Nevertheless, He was but unfolding His purposes of wisdom, His thoughts of peace and His ends of love. Consider this, my soul, whatever God’s way with you is, He will do you no hurt.
And first, there is the utter impossibility that God could hurt one of the children of His love. His nature is love–His heart is love–all His attributes are manifestations of His love–all His dealings but unfoldings of His love. Listen to David’s representation of God, “You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Can not you, my soul, affix your seal to this testimony? What has your God been to you through these many long years of your pilgrimage but a God who could do you no hurt? Oh, no! He loves you too deeply, cares for you too tenderly, watches over you too vigilantly–you are too dear to Him as a child of His adoption, too precious to Him as a jewel of His cabinet, too lovely in his eye as accepted in the Son of His love, that He should do you hurt. Whatever His conduct may be, you shall exclaim with David, “Your gentleness has made me great.”
His rebukes will do you no hurt. They are the probings of the Lord, searching into the deep evil of our heart, and into the sinnings of our spirit, but to bind up and heal. We may shrink from the cuttings of the surgeon’s knife, wince at the searching of his probe as it penetrates to the core of the disease–nevertheless, painful for the moment as the process may be, it is essential to our cure. And so God’s searching of the heart, His deep probing of its hidden evil, His intent to discover the concealed agent that has caused so much ill health to your soul, will do you no hurt, but will result in your greater purity of heart, conformity to Christ, and real advance in the divine life.
The Lord will do you no hurt in His afflictive dispensations. For the present the disappointment is grievous–the blow is crushing–the hand of your God is heavy upon you–nevertheless, underlying all, there is a divine tenderness, infinitely more gentle than the gentlest nurse with her child, infinitely more tender than the tenderest love of a mother towards her first-born. Then, be still, lie passive, and as a weaned child, behave and quiet yourself beneath a loving Father’s gentle hand, for He has said, “I will do you no hurt.”
Nor will He permit others to hurt you. What a wonderful passage is that in the history of His dealings with His people in the wilderness, “When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people, He allowed no man to do them wrong.” And so He will shield and protect you.
And when we hurt ourselves, as we continually do by our sin and folly, He graciously and tenderly binds up our self-inflicted wounds, soothes the bruises of our falls, and makes our broken bones once more to rejoice. Then, my soul, yield yourself to Jesus. He never has hurt you, He never will.