“Lord, I believe—help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
Lord, I see—but enlighten my darkness! Lord, I hear—but cure my deafness!
Lord, I move—but quicken my dullness! Lord, I desire—but help my unwillingness!
Wherever sin proves hateful—it shall not prove hurtful. What an apology does a sorrowful Savior make for His sleeping saints! “The spirit is willing—but the flesh is weak!”
Take a carnal man, and what he can do—that he will not do. Take a Christian man, and what he would do—that he cannot do. God will pity impotency—but He will punish obstinacy.
It would be folly, indeed, to think that our fields have no grain in them—because there is some chaff about the wheat; or that the ore had no gold in it—because there is some dross mixed among it. In heaven, there is service alone—without any sin. In hell, there is sin alone—without service. But on earth, there is sin and service in the same man —as there is light and shade in the same picture.
Above us—there is light without any darkness. Below us—there is darkness without any light.
But in this world—it is neither all day nor all night. Though the lowest believer is above the power of sin—yet the highest believer is not above the presence of sin! It is in a living Christian that sin is to be mortified—but it is only in a dying Christian that sin is to be destroyed. When the body and the soul—are separated by mortality—sin and the soul—will then be separated to eternity! Sin never ruins—but where it reigns! Sin is not damning—where it is disturbing! The more trouble sin receives from us —the less trouble sin does to us. Sin is only a murderer—where it is a governor! Our graces are our best jewels—but they do not yield their brightest luster in this world.
The moon, when she shines brightest—has its spots; and the fire, when it burns the hottest—has its smoke. Sin is an enemy at the Christian’s back —but not a friend in his bosom. Although believers should be mournful—because they have infirmities; yet they should be thankful—because they are but infirmities. It is true, they have sin in them—and that should make them sorrowful. But it is just as true, that they have a Savior for them—and that should make them joyful. The conduct of a Christian may sometimes be spotted with infirmity—when the heart is sound in the love of sanctity. Jacob halted—and yet was blessed. As his blessing did not take away his halting—so his halting did not keep away his blessing. The heavenly Bridegroom will not put out a believer’s candle—because of the dimness of its burning; nor will He overshadow a believer’s sun—because of the weakness of its shining. Though that vice may be found in us—for which God might justly damn us; yet that grace is to be found in Him—by which He will justly save us. He does not come with water to extinguish the fire—but with wind to disperse the smoke! As death leaves the body soulless —so death leaves the soul sinless. “You of little faith—why did you doubt?” Poor Peter had faith enough to keep him from drowning—but not enough faith to keep him from doubting. As Alexander’s painter could find a finger to conceal the scar on his master’s face—so when Jesus Christ draws the picture of the saint’s excellency—He can find a covering for all the scars of his infirmities! God will not throw away His jewels—for every speck of dirt which may be on them!