(From the book ‘A Basket of Summer Fruit‘ by Susannah Spurgeon)
“The Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing unto you, because the Lord your God loved you.” Deuteronomy 23:5
Here, my soul, in this most sweet assurance, you will find your Lord’s one reason for all His dealings with you, whether tender or severe. In this earthly pilgrimage, you do meet with so many experiences and providences that are inexplicable and mysterious, that you are apt to say, “Why this trial, Lord?” “Why this affliction?” “Why this disappointment of all my hopes and plans?”
Blessed be the Name of the Lord for such a full and amazing answer as is this precious verse—to all the questions with which a doubting heart or a feeble faith can vex me! It must needs be that my finite mind fails to understand the ways of God; but if I can believe that He loves me, this is faith’s sufficiency.
My heart, until you have learned the lesson of perfect trust—doubts and misgivings are sure to arise, and cloud your fairest prospects. The darkness looks impenetrable when you do try to peer into it—the rough places seem impassable when your weary feet stumble over the big stones in the pathway—the mountains of difficulty appear inaccessible when the mists of unbelief veil their true proportions. Truly, the Lord is a God who hides Himself; and, oftentimes, His purposes are carried out on our behalf under cover of the thick clouds, in which He enwraps Himself.
But what a bright star amidst the darkness, what a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path, are the blessed words of this Divinely-illuminated text, “Because the Lord your God loved you!” It completely solves all doubts, it wipes away all tears, it is a remedy for every fear, a refuge from every distress! No sweeter assurance could fill my trembling heart with joy, no softer resting-place could be found for a weary, heavy-laden sinner.
To know, of a surety, that all God’s dealings with me are those of a loving Father towards a dear and well-beloved child; to be absolutely certain that every sorrow conceals a blessing, because He has appointed it; to look upon pain, and trial, and bitter experiences as the outcome of a love which is so infinite that I cannot fathom it—this is to live in “the secret place of the Most High,” this is to “abide under the shadow of the Almighty!”
If we would but meet every affliction, be it small or great, with a brave confidence in our Lord’s mighty love to us, and an unquenchable faith in His power—our trials would either vanish altogether, or be transformed into triumphs which would bring honor to our King!
“Crosses and trials all are right,
And pain is sweet, and troubles light,
When Christ my soul does fill.”
“My heart melts within me, Lord, when, by Your Holy Spirit’s aid, I can get even a glimpse of that wonderful love which You have for me—so undeserving and so vile. It does seem “too good to be true,” sometimes, that I, notwithstanding all my faults and failings, and despite all my hardness of heart and guilty indifference, should be the recipient of such free, unmerited favor! Lord, open my understanding as well as my heart, that my love may sun itself in Yours, and have a blessed realization of what Your grace really means to my poor soul!”
* * * *
A present-day writer speaks very forcibly on this subject in the following words: “The grace of God is the unhindered, wondrous, boundless love of His heart, poured out upon His people in a countless variety of ways, without stint or measure—not according to our deserving, but according to His infinite heart of love! This I cannot understand—so unfathomable are its heights and depths! God’s love is infinitely tender, and self-sacrificing, and devoted, and patient, and eager to lavish its best of gifts and blessings upon the objects of His love. Put together all the tenderest love you know of, the deepest love you have ever felt, and the strongest love that has ever been poured out upon you–and heap upon it all the love of all the human hearts in the world, and then multiply it by infinity–and you will begin, perhaps, to have some faint glimpse of the love and grace of God towards His people!” “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge!” Ephesians 3:17-19
“Glorious Lord, such measureless, wonderful love is indeed incomprehensible; but I ask that Your gracious Spirit may strengthen the eyes of my mind—that I may see something more of the glory and beauty of Your rich grace, and that He may enable the hands of my faith to cling tenaciously to the everlasting consolation which lies in the fact of Your eternal, unchanging, and covenant love in Christ Jesus! When, in response to the skeptical suggestions of my own evil heart, or the malicious insinuations of the enemy of souls, I can confidently say, “All this is because the Lord loved me,” it is evident that faith has quenched the fiery darts—that I stand upon a rock which no powers of earth or hell can move—I am hidden in a pavilion, unassailable by the craftiest foe; I have an overflowing well of joy in my heart which no drought can dry up, and no impurity can defile.”
How different would have been the conditions and conclusions if my love for You, had depended the comfort of my daily life, and the security of my soul! Alas, that I should have to say, “My love to You is unworthy of mention—so cold, so faint, so variable is it.” But Your love to me is an “everlasting love,” unchangeable, and full of tenderness and compassion. Had I a seraph’s pen, I might, perchance, be able to set forth something of what my soul sees of the possibilities of my Lord’s love-
“But I fail, and falter forth
Broken words, not half His worth.”
The sweet singer who said, “We must die to speak of Christ,” vainly tried to sound the depths of this ocean of grace. He found it bottomless. Never, until we “see Him as He is,” shall we be able “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge!” Ephesians 3:17-19.
Now, my soul, from this time forth, decide to answer all the whys and wherefores which perplex your life, by the simple response, “Because the Lord loved me!” This will ensure complete deliverance from your fears every time you do in faith use it; and your Lord and Master will be greatly honored by such a casting of yourself upon His word and promise. Can you imagine a condition more blissful than that of being so sheltered and surrounded by His love—that no doubt, no fear, no questioning of His tender purpose can possibly touch you to harm you?