"Where sin abounded--grace did much more abound!" Romans 5:20
We have one hard lesson to learn, that is--the evil of our own heart. We know something of it--but it is needful that we should know more; for the more we know of ourselves--the more we shall prize and love Jesus and His salvation. The more we know Him--the better we will trust Him. The more we trust Him--the better we will love Him. The more we love Him--the better we will serve Him. This is God's way. We are not called to buy--but to beg; not to be strong in ourselves--but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. He is teaching us these things, and I trust he will teach us to the end.
Do not be surprised to find us poor, helpless, and vile. All whom God favors and teaches--will find themselves so. The more grace increases, the more we shall see to abase us in our own eyes!
What we find in ourselves by daily experience, will humble us--but not discourage us. For if our Physician is almighty--our disease cannot be desperate. Our sins are many--but His mercies are more. Our sins are great--but His righteousness is greater. When our sins prevail, remember that we have an Advocate with the Father, who is able to pity, to pardon, and to save to the uttermost! Think of the names and relations which Jesus bears to us. Does He not call Himself--a Savior, a Shepherd, a Friend, and a Husband? Has He not made known unto us His love, His atoning sacrifice, His righteousness, His promises, His power, and His grace--and all for our encouragement? It is better to be admiring the compassion and fullness of grace which is in our Savior--than to dwell and pore too much upon our own poverty and vileness.
Remember that He has loved us with an everlasting love--and therefore in loving-kindness has drawn us to Himself. He will surely accomplish that which He has begun. Nothing which can be named or thought of--shall ever be able to separate us from Him! This persuasion will give us strength for the battle! This is the shield which will quench the fiery darts of Satan! This is the helmet which the enemy cannot pierce! We may be strong, therefore--not in ourselves--but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Remember, the growth of a believer is not like a mushroom--but like an oak, which increases slowly indeed--but surely. Many suns, showers, and frosts, pass upon it before it comes to perfection. And in winter, when it seems to be dead--it is gathering strength at the root. We must be humble, watchful, and diligent in the means, and endeavor to look through all, and fix our eyes upon Jesus--and all shall be well.