That Blessed Hope
Is our Hope today different from believers in the past?
On Jehovah's part He declares "I have loved you," and on His people's part it is stated that "they feared the Lord."
It does not say-"then they that believed the Lord, or loved the Lord, or that were zealous in His service, or holy in life, or higher in attainments, or deeper in experience- but "then they that feared the Lord." So that this word is for the feeble folk among our readers; those that fear the Lord and hope in Him.
This fear is reverence and not terror.
To fear the Lord is the very opposite of being afraid of Him.
Only those really fear the Lord, who know Him so well in all His holiness and love and sovereignty and power, that they realize their own weakness and worthlessness and impotence ·
This fear of the Lord makes men afraid of themselves; yea, afraid of their own wisdom and their own will.
They are so convinced that the Lord knows best, that they would rather Him do what He wills. Not because by some act of faith they think they have given up their wills! Ah! dear friends, our wills are not so easily got rid of as all that! No one can get rid of the old nature as easily as that. Where this method is inculcated and adopted, it has to be done over again; and this, again and again.
But where there is no effort; where there is no thought of ourselves or of our own will; and where we fear the Lord, and learn Him, and know Him, we are so convinced of His infinite love, and infinite power that we are - without an effort- not merely "willing", as the phrase goes - but thankfully anxious for Him to do all His will; we would really prefer it to our own, because we fear the Lord.
This is where most Christians today seek to end. But it is where we ought to begin, for "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." We are to begin therefore with Him !
We speak often, one to another. But what do we speak about? Well, though we speak to one another, those who really fear the Lord, do not speak about one another. We have something better to speak about! (Read Psalms 145 and there you see what those who fear the Lord speak about). The first thing we say to one another is - "Come ye children, hearken unto men: I will teach you the fear of the Lord" (Ps. 34:11). The next thing we say, is, "come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul" (Ps. 66:16). Observe, it is "what HE hath done." It is about His work for me, not about mine for Him !
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