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CHAPTER 13

ATTRIBUTES OF HOLINESS—TRUST IN GOD

True holiness brings man into the most intimate relations with His Creator. He is a child of God. Of this he is assured by the direct witness of the Spirit. Those terms which express the greatest solicitude which one human being can feel in another, are employed to represent the care which our Heavenly Father has over those who walk before Him in the beauty of holiness. Can any thing exceed the care which a father has for a son whom he tenderly loves? How he endeavors to give him the education which will best fit him for the duties of life! What self-denial does he often practice that this may be accomplished! How he watches over his disposition, and labors to correct his faults! He watches against such associations as may work to his injury! But God says,

I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”—II Cor. 6:18

Yet the love of a mother, if not stronger, is more enduring than a father’s love. It follows her child with ceaseless anxiety to the ends of the earth, and to the close of life. It survives the loss of character, and the wreck of hope. It goes, with tearful eye and ardent sympathy, and trembling step, with the criminal to his cell, and the murderer to the gallows. But a mother may forget her child, but God will never forget those who separate themselves to His service. They are said to be graven upon the palms of His hands to be continually before Him.

A holy person, then, trusts in God. All his interests, for time and eternity, are committed to the keeping of Him who never wearies. He has confidence in God. A loving child is not always exacting promises—he trusts his parents for all his needs. So a holy person trusts in God himself. He has confidence in the ability and in the willingness of His Heavenly Father to do for him the very best that his circumstances call for. He may not always see how it is coming out. He does not ask to. He feels the utmost assurance that all things work together for good to them that love God. With that he is satisfied.

He trusts God in particular:

For all the grace that he needs. He knows that God can carry him through. The channel supplied from a mighty river, may be small but it is always full. The source of the supply is inexhaustible. So is it with the fountain of all goodness. There is grace for us for any emergency. We never need be overcome. No matter how sudden may be the attack, our Protector is ever at hand. The darts thrown at us may be fiery, and hurled with tremendous force, but they can never penetrate our shield. The enemies that assail us may be legion, but more are they that are for us. Thus a holy person, while not presumptuous, is confident in God. He knows in whom he trusts, and that He is able to keep, in perfect security, that which He has committed to His care. Whatever may be his duties, whatever God may call upon him to do, He will give him grace to perform. Increasing loads of care, and labor, and responsibility may be laid upon him, but his strength is so multiplied that he is able always to testify that Christ’s yoke is easy, and His burden light. Temptations most furious, most subtle, and nicely adapted to accomplish their end may assail him, but he always finds that with the temptation, God provides a way of escape, that he may be able to bear it. So his confidence in God that He will give him increased strength, as his wants require, never fails. He is not discouraged, ever ready to give up the battle; but he boldly renews it from time to time, and goes in for new conquests, and an extension of Christ’s kingdom. He knows that the battle is the Lord’s, and he never expects defeat.

He trusts God for temporal blessings. If God is the giver of every good and perfect gift, we should naturally expect that He would provide for His children. So His word declares that He will “withhold no good thing from them that walk uprightly.” He knows best what is good for us. We take the remedies which a doctor in whom we have confidence prescribes, without knowing before hand what their effects may be; and shall we not as cheerfully accept from our Father’s hand whatever temporal dispensations He may order? Disappointment may be bitter, but it may be just the remedy we need to sharpen the appetite for spiritual food. Toils and privations may be grievous to the flesh, but they may be necessary to purify our spirits of their grossness and fit them for their upward flight. But whatever is best God will give us if we walk before Him in the light of holiness. Every holy person has the most unbounded confidence in the declaration,

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”—Matt. 6:33

This does not make him indolent or improvident. Quite the contrary. He labors unweariedly because he labors in hope. He is

not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.Rom. 12:11

He does the best he can, dismisses all anxiety, and commits all to the hands of God, for soul and body, for time and eternity. He who can trust God for his happiness in another world, certainly can have no hesitation in trusting Him to have his necessary wants supplied for the few fleeting years of his probationary existence. If God cares for the oxen, and cares for the grass of the field, He will care for His children. Their wants will be provided for if they do their duty. He can send manna in the desert, and bring water from the flinty rock. So a holy person rests in the promise, “Your bread shall be given you, and your water shall be sure.” His Protector is always at hand: his Provider is always near. The Lord is his refuge: the Most High is his habitation.

They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion which cannot be removed, but abideth forever.”—Ps. 125:1

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