Tag Archives: Remember

“Hitherto the Lord hath helped us” by Charles Spurgeon

“‘Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.’ (1 Samuel 7:12)

Were we a hundred when first I addressed you? What hosts of empty pews, what a miserable handful of hearers. With the staff we crossed that Jordan.

But God has multiplied the people and multiplied the joy, till we have become not only two bands but many bands; and many this day are gathering to hear the gospel preached by the sons of this church, begotten of us, and sent forth by us to minister the word of life in many towns and villages throughout these three kingdoms.

Glory be unto God, this cannot be man’s work. What effort made by the unaided strength of man will equal this which has been accomplished by God. Let the name of the Lord, therefore, be inscribed upon the pillar of the memorial. I am always very jealous about this matter.

If we do not as a Church and a congregation, if we do not as individuals, always give God the glory, it is utterly impossible that God should work by us. Many wonders I have seen, but I never saw yet a man who arrogated the honour of his work to himself, whom God did not leave sooner or later.

Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Behold this great Babylon that I have built.’ Behold that poor lunatic whose hair has grown like eagle’s feathers, and his nails like bird’s claws—that is Nebuchadnezzar.

And that must be you, and that must be me, each in our own way, unless we are content always to give all the glory unto God. Surely, brethren, we shall be a stench in the nostrils of the Most High, an offence, even like carrion, before the Lord of Hosts, if we arrogate to ourselves any honour.

What doth God send his saints for? That they may be demigods? Did God make men strong that they may exalt themselves into His throne? What, doth the King of kings crown you with mercies that you may pretend to lord it over Him?

What, doth He dignify you that you may usurp the prerogatives of His throne? No; you must come with all the favours and honours that God has put upon you, and creep to the foot of His throne and say, What am I, and what is my father’s house that thou hast remembered me. ‘Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.’

I said this text might be read three ways. We have read it once by laying stress upon the centre word. Now it ought to be read looking backward. The word ‘hitherto’ seems like a hand pointing in that direction.

Look back, look back. Twenty years—thirty—forty—fifty—sixty—seventy—eighty—’hitherto!’ say that each of you. Through poverty—through wealth—through sickness—through health—at home—abroad—on the land—on the sea—in honour—in dishonour—in perplexity—in joy—in trial—in triumph—in prayer—in temptation—hitherto.

Put the whole together. I like sometimes to look down a long avenue of trees. It is very delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of leafy temple with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves.

Cannot you look down the long aisles of your years, look at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of loving-kindness and faithfulness which bear your joys? Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely, there must be many.

And the bright sunshine and the blue sky are yonder; and if you turn round in the far distance, you may see heaven’s brightness and a throne of gold. ‘Hitherto! hitherto!’

Then the text may be read a third way,—looking forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes ‘hitherto,’ he looks back upon much that is past, but ‘hitherto’ is not the end, there is yet a distance to be traversed.

More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; more slanders, more comforts; more lions and bears to be fought, more tearings of the lion for God’s Davids; more deep waters, more high mountains; more troops of devils, more hosts of angels yet.

And then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No, no, no!

We will raise one stone more when we get into the river, we will shout Ebenezer there: ‘hitherto the Lord hath helped us,’ for there is more to come. An awakening in His likeness, climbing of starry spheres, harps, songs, palms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fullness of eternity, the infinity of bliss.

Yes, as sure as God has helped so far as today, He will help us to the close. ‘I will never leave thee, I will never forsake thee; I have been with thee, and I will be with thee to the end.’

Courage, brethren, then. And as we pile the stones, saying, ‘Hitherto the Lord hath helped us,’ let us just gird up the loins of our mind, and be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be revealed in us, for as it has been, so it shall be world without end.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Ebenezer!” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (vol. 9; London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1863), 166–167. Spurgeon preached this sermon on 1 Samuel 7:12 on March 15, 1863, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England.

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“We forget the gospel” by Jerry Bridges

“We should always address our sin in the context of the gospel. Our tendency is that as soon as we begin to work on an area of sin in our lives, we forget the gospel. We forget that God has already forgiven us our sin because of the death of Christ.

As Paul wrote in Colossians 2:13-14, ‘[God has] forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

Not only has God forgiven us our sins, He has also credited to us the perfect righteousness of Christ. In every area of life where we have been disobedient, Jesus was perfectly obedient. Are we prone to be anxious? Jesus always perfectly trusted His heavenly Father.

Do we have trouble with selfishness? Jesus was always completely self-giving. Are we guilty of unkind words, gossip, or sarcasm? Jesus spoke only those words that would be appropriate for each occasion. He never once sinned with His tongue.

For some thirty-three years, Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to the moral will of God, and then He culminated that obedience by being obedient to the Father’s specific will for Him — an obedience unto death, even death on the cross for our sins.

In both His sinless life and His sin-bearing death, Jesus was perfectly obedient, perfectly righteous, and it is that righteousness that is credited to all who believe. As we struggle to put to death our subtle sins, we must always keep in mind this twofold truth:

Our sins are forgiven and we are accepted as righteous by God because of both the sinless life and sin-bearing death of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no greater motivation for dealing with sin in our lives than the realization of these two glorious truths of the gospel.”

–Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2007), 47-48.

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“Uncomfortable grace” by Paul David Tripp

“There are moments in our lives when we are crying out for grace, not recognizing that we are getting it. We are not getting the grace of relief or the grace of release, because that is not the grace that we really need.

No, what we are getting is something we desperately need, the uncomfortable grace of personal growth and change. With the love of a Father, your Lord is prying open your hands so that you will let go of things that have come to rule your heart but will never satisfy you.

With the insight of a seasoned teacher, He is driving you to question your own wisdom so that you will find your understanding and rest in His. With the skill of the world’s best counselor, God is showing you the delusions of your control so that you will take comfort in His rule.

With the gentleness of a faithful friend He is facing you toward the inadequacies of your own righteousness so that you find your hope in His.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 216.

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“Remember Jesus” by Paul David Tripp

“When you are working on rebuilding trust, you need to place your hope not in your husband or wife but in the third Person in your marriage, the Lord Jesus. He is with you and for you. As the designer of marriage and the one who brought you together, He has more zeal that your marriage would actually be what He created it to be than you will ever have.

He has the wisdom you need. He has the strength you need. He offers the forgiveness you need. And He will not leave you when the going gets tough. Cry out to Him; He will never turn a deaf ear to you. Listen to His Word; there is wisdom there that has the power to restore.

And when you are discouraged and feel that you are all alone and no one understands, remember Jesus. He suffered rejection and mistreatment. He was not even able to trust His closest companions. On the cross, as He bore our sins, even His Father forsook Him.

He knows what you are going through, and He is the only one who is ready and able to give you the grace you need as you seek to put the shattered china of your trust together again.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 165.

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