Trust in God—true wisdom
‘He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.’ Proverbs 16:20
Suggested Further Reading: Proverbs 3:1–7
I am persuaded that faith is as much the rule of temporal as of spiritual life, and that we ought to have faith in God for our shops as well as for our souls. Worldly men may sneer at this, but it is none the less true; at any rate, I pray that it may be my course as long as I live. My dear friends, let me commend to you a life of trust in God in temporal things, by these few advantages among a great many others. First, trusting in God, you will not have to mourn because you have used sinful means to grow rich. Should you become poor through it, better to be poor with a clear conscience, than to be rich and guilty. You will have always this comfort should you come to the lowest position of human nature, that you have come there through no fault of your own. You have served God with integrity, and even if some should say you have missed your mark, and achieved no success, at least there is no sin upon your conscience. And then again, trusting God, you will not be guilty of self-contradiction. He who trusts in craft, sails this way today, and that way the next, like a vessel propelled by the fickle wind; but he that trusts in the Lord is like a vessel propelled by steam; she cuts through the waves, defies the wind, and makes one bright silvery track to her destined haven. Let men see that the world has changed, not you—that man’s opinions and man’s maxims have veered round to another quarter, but that you are still invincibly strong in the strength which trusting in God alone can confer.
For meditation: It would be a sad situation if we had only the affairs of this life for which to trust God (1 Corinthians 15:19); but if we cannot trust him in material matters that we can see, how can we be sure that we are trusting him in spiritual matters that we cannot see? Great men of God did both (Psalm 23:6; 2 Timothy 4:18).
Sermon no. 392
12 May (1861)