diapsalmata navbrand

The Holy Art of Face-setting

A balm for blank despair, for the shamed face covered in the dust of another weary defeat. There is grace for the soul that gasps, “Lord I believe! Please help mine unbelief!” (see Mark 9:24). On days like today I am so grateful for Spurgeon — and others like him — who grasp me by the hand and bid me lift my eyes above the battle, “unto the hills from whence comes our help” (Psalm 121:1). When viewed from this perspective, the violent upheaval becomes a thing of mercy, a faithful undoing or dissipation of fatal illusion, and in the choking dust of that love-led cataclysm I perceive the outlines of the hand that is faithful still.

 “Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.”—Gen. 49:19.

SOME of us have been like the tribe of Gad. Our adversaries for a while were too many for us, they came upon us like a troop. Yes, and for the moment they overcame us; and they exulted greatly because of their temporary victory. Thus they only proved the first part of the family heritage to be really ours, for Christ’s people, like Dan, shall have a troop overcoming them. This being overcome is very painful, and we should have despaired if we had not by faith believed the second line of our father’s benediction, “He shall overcome at the last.” “All’s well that ends well,” said the world’s poet; and he spoke the truth. A war is to be judged, not by its first successes or defeats, but by that which happens “at the last.” The Lord will give to truth and righteousness victory “at the last”; and, as Mr. Bunyan says, that means for ever, for nothing can come after the last.

What we need is patient perseverance in well-doing, calm confidence in our glorious Captain. Christ, our Lord Jesus, would teach us his holy art of setting the face like a flint to go through with work or suffering till we can say, “It is finished.” Hallelujah. Victory! Victory! We believe the promise. “He shall overcome at the last.”[1]

[1] C. H. Spurgeon, The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith: Being Precious Promises Arranged for Daily Use With Brief Comments (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 132.

Related Posts