Weakness no obstacle
‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ Isaiah 41:10
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 2 Kings 6:8–23
The contents of this promise are fully answerable to all our fears, needs and distresses. ‘Poor fearing soul,’ the Lord says, ‘Fear not. I am with thee.’ When Elisha’s servant saw the chariots of fire, he thought himself safe, though surrounded with an army. But here is more: Psalm 27:3 [Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident]. He is not with you only in a way of common providence, but in a way of covenant mercy and special grace. I am thy God. If so, you are his people, and of such he has said in Zechariah 2:8, … he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.
Are you weak? He says, I will strengthen you. But his strength is made perfect in weakness. Say therefore with Paul, [… for when I am weak, then am I strong] (2 Corinthians 12:9–10). See the chapter before my text, verse 29 [He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength]. Consider how weak others have been, and yet how strong the Lord has made them—Abraham, Peter.
To John Ryland, 13 March 1782:
Such of your trials as cannot be entrusted to paper I will not charge myself with … However, I am persuaded that the known and unknown, what you can write and what you could only whisper, taken all together shall not overwhelm you. Thy God whom thou servest continually is able to deliver you. Cheer up. The skill of the pilot is best evidenced in a storm—so is the Lord’s wisdom and faithfulness towards his children, and so is the sincerity of their hearts towards him.
In themselves as weak as worms,
Weak, indeed, they feel they are,
How can poor believers stand;
But they know the throne of grace;
When temptations, foes and storms,
And the GOD, who answers prayer,
Press them close on every hand?
Helps them when they seek his face.
SERMON: ISAIAH 41:10 [3/5]