"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is the Rock of Ages" (Is. 26:3-4).
That we have been, and still are living in days of much pressure is only too apparent. In the homeland there are troubles, in commercial life, in industrial life, in professional life, in fact in every department. In many homes there is anxiety. The difficulty to make ends meet. The cloud of sickness; the heart-break of bereavement; the burden of domestic trial known only to those thus afflicted - and to God.
While things may be the worst known in living memory, and we each naturally think that our case has no parallel, we find, as we turn to the Holy Scriptures, that in all ages suffering has been the portion of the people of God.
As we run our mind back over Old Testament history, name after name occurs to us. What a record we have in Hebrews 11:36-38 of nameless, unknown warriors, men and women, "subject to like passions as we are" (Ja. 5:17); whose lives were marked by unspeakable suffering ending in cruel death. We remember that our Lord Jesus said to His disciples, "In the world ye shall have tribulation" (Jn. 16:33). We read of the sufferings of Paul as epitomized in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 and what he has to say about it all in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
Some reader may say, "That is all very well, but to know that others have suffered, does not lighten my burden, lessen my sorrow, nor make my trial more easy to bear." That is conceded at once. It does help us, however, to learn in whom they found an unfailing resource, and by what means they were sustained. This brings us to our text, and we affectionately invite our tempest tossed fellow-believers to weigh every word. May we be permitted to reproduce it as it is rendered in the very excellent New Translation by J.N. Darby: "Thou wilt keep in perfect peace the mind stayed on Thee, for he confideth in Thee. Confide ye in Jehovah forever; for in Jah, Jehovah, is the Rock of Ages."
Observe! The mind that is stayed not upon the trial of suffering; nor upon what might have been, nor upon second causes in any way; but that is stayed upon God, that one, his mind, he himself, will be kept by God in perfect peace. Why? Because he worries? No. Because he gets excited and hysterical? No. Because he shuts himself up by himself, shuns the company of his brethren, and nurses his troubles? No. What then? Because "he confideth in Thee." To confide, says the dictionary, is "to trust fully: intrust to: rely on." Say, dear brother or sister, do you think God is One who you can "trust fully?" Upon whom you can rely? Is your burden so heavy, your trial so great, that you feel you cannot "intrust to" Him the whole affair? We feel sure we know that you are mentally answering as you read our questions, therefore we pass on to the heartening exhortation: "Confide ye in Jehovah for ever." At all times, under every circumstance, when the clouds are dark and threatening; when the load seems almost too great; when the pain is well nigh unbearable; when in the outlook there seems not a gleam of sunshine; when oppressed by a feeling of indescribable loneliness; "Confide ye in Jehovah for ever." What will you find? Just what myriads of saints right down the ages have found, and that numberless saints in their Heavenward, homeward journey are finding now; that in Jah, Jehovah, is the Rock of Ages. The self-existing, covenant-keeping God: can you confide in Him, do you think? Has He ever failed you? Will He ever fail you? Could He ever fail you? No! No! NO! answers every reader. Then confide in Him. Says someone, "Yet I must confess I tremble at times, I cannot help it." That may be, and He knows, He understands, "for He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust" (Ps. 103:14).
In Him, however, is "The Rock of Ages," and that Rock never trembles. The forces of hell have attacked that Rock, the powers of darkness have spent themselves upon it; and still it remains unshaken and unshakeable, and there, just there, you may rest, "for in Jah, Jehovah, is the Rock of Ages." We again ask your attention to what our Lord Jesus said to His disciples when sorrow lay heavy upon them: "These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (Jn. 16:33).
Just as He did on that dark night, as you read these lines, He would speak peace to your troubled heart. Peace not in yourself, nor in your plans, nor in your restless energy, but peace in Himself, and Himself alone. Then in His own gracious, tender, sympathetic, inimitable way, He would say to you, "Be of Good Cheer!" Oh the exquisite joy of His coming to us individually, seeking to wipe the tears from our eyes, to lift the burden from our spirit, and to pour His love into our heart; as He whispers in our ear, "Be of Good Cheer!" We write thus, led we trust by the Lord, because we meet many in cases similar to these we have described, and we feel sure among the readers of "Scripture Truth" there are many more. To such, in the Lord's name we pass on the words of our text, "confide ye in Jehovah for ever," and our Lord's words to "His own," "Be of good cheer." Let us kneel down and thank Him for them, let us take them right home to ourselves; and then with a ring of divinely-given faith, certainty, and reality, let us sing;
"We expect a bright tomorrow; All will be well.
Faith can sing through days of sorrow, All, all is well.
On our Father's love relying, Jesus every need supplying;
Or in living, or in dying, All must be well."