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If the Lord Will

If the Lord Will

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


1 John. 14, 15.

" .... If we ask anything according to his wHt^ he hearetli
ns: and if we know that he hear ns, whatsoeYer we
ask, we know that we hare the petitions that we desired
of him."
BY J. R. MACDUFF, D.D.


1 John. 14, 15.

" .... If we ask anything according to his wHt^ he hearetli
ns: and if we know that he hear ns, whatsoeYer we
ask, we know that we hare the petitions that we desired
of him."

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

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IF THE LORD WILLBY J. R. MACDUFF, D.D. 1 John. 14, 15. " .... If we ask anything according to his wHt^ he hearetli ns: and if we know that he hear ns, whatsoeYer we ask, we know that we hare the petitions that we desired of him." There is much to comfort us in these words. When health fails, when prosperity departs, or when our homes become the homes of moumingi we are prone, if we do not watch against the danger, to have our confidence in the power and efficacy of prayer weakened, — nay, sometimes, for a season, destroyed. Perhaps we have offered up petitions for health, for plenty, for prosperity in the world, and instead of these things we have had sick- ness, adversity, and ever-increasing cares and troubles, and we have rashly supposed that our petitions were unheard. Or, more painful still, perhaps we prayed for the assurance of forgiveness, — ^for a realising sense of God's love in Christ, — for stronger faith, — for some precious spiritual blessing or 200 IF THE LORD WILL, comfort, which we imagined would insure our happiness, peace, joy. But we continued still downcast, sad ; faith's grasp was feeble ; every wave that dashed against us seemed as if des-
 
tined to hurl us against the rocks, and our cry of distress was lost amid the roar of the angry elements, — " Had not God forgotten to be gra- cious?" Was it not almost needless to con- tinue praying? Whose case was so urgent, whose danger so imminent, whose need so great as ours? and yet our petitions had met with no response, — our entreaties for help had been un- availing? Such questions our unbelieving hearts fre- quently suggest, and they render necessary dis- cipline more severe, trying, and long-continued, until we are brought to honour God by fully and implicitly trusting Him. Three things ought to be ever kept in view with regard to prayer. First, the range, the extent to which we may go in our petitions at a throne of grace^ although vast and soul-satisfying, has yet a houndary-line. It is inscribed with these words  — " According to His wilV^ We are at best but children, — wilful, erring IF THE LORD WILL. 201 children, — ignorant of what would prove a bless- ing or a curse to us, — often anxious for those things which would prove hurtful, and slow to believe that a painful cross, a heavy ai&iction, is really the test thing God could send us. Our heavenly Father, who has graciously adopted us in Christ, and means to train us to obedience, self-denial, and submission, whilst, in the fulness of His love, offering the inestimable treasures of
 
His grace, will only bestow upon us what He knows to be truly and lastingly beneficial to our souls. Therefore His promise of blessing is limited to things which are "according to His will." But some anxious, trembling one may say, " Surely, to implore the assurance of forgiveness,  — to entreat the bestowal of pardon through the blood of Christ, — to ask for stronger faith, deeper love, livelier hope, — to offer such petitions as these, — must be ^ according to His mlV " Yes, assuredly ; oh that we could ever doubt it, after all that God has done to convince us of His willingness to forgive, to pardon freely, and for ever! See page after page of Holy Scripture bright with promises, invitations, en- treaties! See the loving Saviour, anxious to 202 IF THE LORD WILL. melt hard and stony hearts^ weeping over the impenitent, speaking tenderly to the guilty, the polluted, the vile, — giving up His precious life to ransom souls from destruction, — grasping, in His latest hour, a victim from the power of the enemy, to bear it as a trophy of the victory of redeeming love; and who shall dare say there is unwillingness on the part of God to forgive ? Hear these words : " Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us ; he will subdue our iniquities ; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Listen to the

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