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Not Forsaken

Not Forsaken

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY J. R. MACDUFF, D.D.


Matt. xiv. 23, 24.

" When the eyening was come, he was there alone. But the
ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves :
for the wind was contrary."
BY J. R. MACDUFF, D.D.


Matt. xiv. 23, 24.

" When the eyening was come, he was there alone. But the
ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves :
for the wind was contrary."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 01, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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OT FORSAKEBY J. R. MACDUFF, D.D. Matt. xiv. 23, 24. " When the eyening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves : for the wind was contrary." The narrative of which these words form a part has often been a source of great comfort to the tried and suffering believer. Every little incident is of priceless value, as it brings more and more fully home to the heart the tender sympathy of Jesus, His sleepless care, His ready help, His almighty power. We are told that, at the close of a busy and anxious day, when our Lord had miraculously fed five thou- sand persons with five loaves and two fishes, — when the people, astonished at His power, had resolved to make Him their king, — He "con- strained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side " of the sea of Galilee, whilst He Himself retired to a moun- tain to pray. Suddenly a violent tempest arose. The terrified disciples plied their oars, but in vain. Their little bark was " in the midst of 104 OT FORSAKE, the sea, tossed with waves," the plaything of the storm, and " the wind was contrary." Dark- ness gathered round them, and, worse than all, they were alone; for "Jesus had not come unto them."
 
Fit representation of the believer still ! How often has he to encounter, and that, too, at his Master's bidding, the stormy gales of trouble? The ocean of life, how suddenly is it lashed into fury, and, despite all our efforts, our feeble bark is driven to and fro! It has been thus with Christ's disciples in every age. He has promised to deliver them out of the storm, but not to secure them from encountering it. " The same afflictions have been accomplished in the brotherhood " of faith since time began. The saints in glory all toiled, amid similar billows, in life's stormy sea. Though never shipwrecked, they were all tempest-tossed. Think of their bitter disappointments, their grievous losses, their perplexing cares, their fearful sufferings, their painful trials, their cruel mockings and scourgings, their buffetings and imprisonments and deaths, as they are recorded for our instruc- tion in the Book of God ! The Elder Brother Himself did not escape. He was made like to OT FORSAKE. 105 His brethren, — in all points tempted like as we are. What a dread night, — what a fearful tempest was that in which He was constrained in the bitterness of His anguished soul to cry, " M7 God, mj God, why hast thou forsaken me?" While the trembling disciples were battling with the waves on the lonely sea, the Saviour was alone with His Father, pleading for them on the mount. He had not forgotten them. His all-seeing eye followed them in the gloom of night, and amid the furious waves. And even so He pleads for thee^ tempest-tossed
 
believer. Think not that, because the storm continues boisterous. He intercedes in vain. Him the Father heareth always. Thy not sinking proves that His advocacy prevails. He prays not that your day may never be stormy, but, in answer to His intercession, you may be confident that "as your day so shall your strength be." His eye of love rests upon you. There cannot be a night so dark in which He cannot trace your course. As on that lone mountain-height He "saw the disciples toiling in rowing," so in the heights of glory He sees thee also, storm-driven io6 OT FORSAKE, Christian. Every secret anxiety, every heart- buried grief, is watched from His throne on high. He knows all thy difficulties, sorrows, and temptations. Thou shalt not perish by any oversight* of His. When He sees that the fitting season has arrived, He will appear for thy deliverance. He foresaw the toil and danger of His dis- ciples on the Sea of Galilee. He purposely sent them away that they might be tossed. He who could have prevented their sufierings by His power, permitted them in His wisdom, that He might glorify His mercy in their deliver- ance, and confirm their faith by the issue of their distresses. Even so. Christian, He per^ mits thy sorrows. Every night of pain and sickness, every wave of trouble that rolls over thee, comes at His command. He knows that they are necessary, and He has told thee to ex- pect them. " In the world ye shall have tribu-

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