“One Almighty is more than many mighties.”
–William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1662/2002), 35.
“Winter looks like death, anger, and everything bad, as compared with the summer, which looks like life, grace, and all good things.
In order that we may become stronger in faith and not doubt that God can easily and with one word create and do all things, David asks us to consider winter as compared with summer.
For in this contrast God portrays what He can do and how He always works. In winter He sends snow, rime, and frost, so that no man can bear it.
Surely nobody could survive a real winter if he had to do without fire and warmth and depend only on the sun, as he does in summer. The whole creation is powerless to make even a grain of wheat grow or any fruit ripen in winter, but God can change the winter, banish it, and bring the summer again, so that one forgets the winter.
And He does this so easily that it costs Him only one word. Shouldn’t you, then, the more easily believe that He can help you out of your winter and all distress, easily and with a single word?…
If God every year helps the entire world out of winter, its annual flood and death, should you not learn from this mighty example of God’s power, performed annually before your very eyes, to trust and believe in Him in every need?
Look how even the godless, who believe in nothing, are able to say in winter: ‘O yes, summer will come again,’ and are convinced that it will not be winter forever.
Therefore you and everyone should learn to say in the midst of his winter: ‘Very well, let there be snow, frost, and freezing. No matter how bad things get, summer will come again. God will not let it snow and freeze forever,’ as we are told in Ps. 55:22: ‘He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.’
And then the psalmist tells us something even more comforting. Snow, rime, and frost, he says, are the Lord’s. He Himself causes them, and they are not controlled by the devil or any hostile force.
He commands them. Therefore they cannot be colder or freeze us more than He wishes or than we can bear, just as St. Paul taught the Corinthians that God does not let us be tempted beyond our endurance but directs the temptation so that we may be able to endure it (1 Cor. 10:13).
If the devil controlled the frost, there would not only be incessant winter and eternal frost with never again a summer; it would freeze so hard that we would all freeze to death in a single day and become nothing but chunks of ice.
But God’s winter and frost are not everlasting. And though the winter is hard and in itself hardly to be borne, still He gives us so much fire, warmth, straw, etc., that we can bear it until the summer puts an end to it…
He uses the winter for His own glorification, so that He can demonstrate His power by so easily transforming such a cold, hard, unfruitful time into a luxuriant, pleasant, and joyous summer.”
–Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 14: Selected Psalms III (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 14; Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 125-126, 126-127, 128. Luther is commenting on Psalm 147:16-17.
“Get rid of fear, because fear is painful. How it torments the spirit! When the Christian trusts, he is happy; when he doubts, he is miserable. When the believer looks to His Master and relies upon Him, he can sing; when he doubts His Master, he can only groan.
What miserable wretches the most faithful Christians are when they once begin doubting and fearing! It is a trade I never like to meddle with, because it never pays the expenses, and never brings in any profit—the trade of doubting.
Why, the soul is broken in pieces, lanced, pricked with knives, dissolved, racked, pained. It knoweth not how to exist when it gives way to fear. Up, Christian! thou art of a sorrowful countenance; up, and chase thy fears.
Why wouldst thou be for ever groaning in thy dungeon? Why should the Giant Despair for ever beat thee with his crabtree cudgel? Up! Drive him away! Touch the key of the promises; be of good cheer! Fear never helped thee yet, and it never will.
Fear, too, is weakening. Make a man afraid—he will run at his own shadow; make a man brave, and he will stand before an army and overcome them. He will never do much good in the world who is afraid of men.
The fear of God bringeth blessings, but the fear of men bringeth a snare, and such a snare that many feet have been tripped by it. No man shall be faithful to God, if he is fearful of man.
No man shall find His arm sufficient for him, and His might equal to his emergencies unless he can confidently believe, and quietly wait. We must not fear; for fear is weakening.
Again; we must not fear; for fear dishonors God. Doubt the Eternal, distrust the Omnipotent? Oh, traitorous fear! Thinkest thou that the arm which piled the heavens, and sustains the pillars of the earth shall ever be palsied?
Shall the brow which eternal ages have rolled over without scathing it, at last be furrowed by old age? What! Shall the Eternal fail thee? Shall the faithful Promiser break His oath? Thou dishonorest God, O unbelief! Get thee hence!
God is too wise to err, too good to be unkind; leave off doubting Him, and begin to trust Him, for in so doing, thou wilt put a crown on His head, but in doubting Him thou dost trample His crown beneath thy feet.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Fear Not,” in The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, Vol. III (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1857), 396.
“The Lord is King!”
By Josiah Conder, 1824
The Lord is King! Lift up your voice,
O earth, and all the heavens, rejoice!
From world to world the joy shall ring:
“The Lord Omnipotent is King.”
The Lord is King! Who then shall dare
Resist His will, distrust His care,
Or murmur at His wise decrees,
Or doubt His royal promises?
The Lord is King! Child of the dust,
The Judge of the all the earth is just.
Holy and true are all His ways:
Let every creature speak His praise.
He reigns! O saints, exalt your strains:
Your God is King, your Father reigns.
And He is at the Father’s side,
The Man of love, the Crucified.
Come, make your wants, your burdens known;
Christ will present them at the throne;
This world of ours and worlds unseen;
How thin the boundary between!
Oh, when His wisdom can mistake,
His might decay, His love forsake,
Then may His children cease to sing,
The Lord Omnipotent is King.
One Lord, one empire, all secures:
He reigns— and life and death are yours.
Through earth and heaven one song shall ring:
“The Lord Omnipotent is King.”
“The Spirit is very powerful, Christian! What do you infer from that fact? Why, that you never need distrust the power of God to carry you to heaven… The power of the Holy Spirit is your bulwark, and all His omnipotence defends you. Can your enemies overcome omnipotence? Then they can conquer you. Can they wrestle with Deity, and hurl Him to the ground? Then they might conquer you. For the power of the Spirit is our power; the power of the Spirit is our might. Once again, Christians, if this is the power of the Spirit, why should you doubt anything?”
-–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Power of the Holy Ghost” in Spurgeon’s Sermons, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 130-1.