Sunday, 11 September 2011

of Songs in the Night

"Where is God my Maker, 
who gives songs in the night...?" 
Job 35:10

Of all the books in my personal library, some of the most treasured are a 10 volume collection of the sermons of Charles Spurgeon, or as he was known by many, "The Prince of Preachers." I have often used this collection as devotional reading. In my opinion there are few preachers today who even come close to the caliber of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Perhaps it's even a little ironic that as I type these words, our American friends to the south are commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York. For some time now I have also been wrestling with a few issues in my own life and that of the lives of some loved ones. Where is God in our pains and our sufferings? Where is God when our world begins to crumble around us?

Anyone who has known me for a while has no doubt heard me say, "I complained about having no shoes until I met a man who had no feet." I don't know where I got that from; it's not original to me. It is also not intended to belittle the problems of others, for our problems and concerns are very real to each of us. However, what I like about this saying is that it reminds me that things could always be worse and I need to be grateful that they aren't any worse. When all my world seems as dark as night, I need to remember that there is always a star in the sky to remind me that God is still there. When the floodwaters of adversity come, I need to remember that God has also given us a rainbow in the sky to remind us that He is still there, and though we may not understand why things are happening as they are, we can and must believe that God is still very much in control.

Anyway, this was not supposed to be about my thoughts; it was supposed to be about Charles Spurgeon. As I sat in the quiet of my early Sunday morning, something I read in Spurgeon's Sermons spoke to me and blessed me. It came from a sermon he had entitled "Songs in the Night" and was based on Job 35:10. Here is an excerpt from it. May it bless you as it did me.

But I think, beloved, there is never so dark a night, but there is something to sing about, even concerning that night; for there is one thing I am sure we can sing about, let the night be ever so dark, and that is, "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, and because his compassions fail not." If we cannot sing very loud, yet we can sing a little low tune, something like this - "He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities."- "O!" says one, "I do not know where to get my dinner from to-morrow. I am a poor wretch." So you may be, my dear friend; but you are not so poor as you deserve to be. Do not be mightily offended about that; if you are, you are no child of God; for the child of God acknowledges that he has no right to the least of God's mercies, but that they come through the channel of grace alone. As long as I am out of hell, I have no right to grumble; and if I were in hell I should have no right to complain, for I feel, when convinced of sin, that never creature deserved to go there more than I do. We have no cause to murmur; we can lift up our hands, and say, "Night! thou art dark, but thou mightst have been darker. I am poor, but if I could not have been poorer, I might have been sick. I am poor and sick - well, I have some friend left; my lot cannot be so bad, but it might have been worse." And therefore, Christian, you will always have one thing to sing about - "Lord, I thank thee, it is not all darkness!" Besides, Christian, however dark the night is, there is always a star or moon. There is scarce ever a night that we have, but there are just one or two little lamps burning up there. However dark it may be, I think you may find some little comfort, some little joy, some little mercy left, and some little promise to cheer thy spirit. The stars are not put out, are they? Nay, if thou canst not see them, they are there; but methinks one or two must be shining on thee; therefore give God a song in the night. If thou hast only one star, bless God for that one, perhaps he will make it two; and if thou hast only two stars, bless God twice for the two stars, and perhaps he will make them four. Try, then, if thou canst not find a song in the night.

The preceding was taken from "Spurgeon's Sermons," Volume 2, Chapter 11, "Songs in the Night," page 177.

"Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8: 17-18; NIV).

Thank you, Jesus.

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