Hold fast, then, O mourner, thy confidence in thy Lord! Have patience, fret not, despair not, and a day shall come to thee like that which came at last to the mourners in Bethany—it may be here, it may not be until we meet Him beyond the bounds of time, yet come it must—when all this earthly history, and all His doings towards us, shall be read in the clear and full light of perfect knowledge; when out of this seeming chaos and confusion the most perfect order will be evolved before our wondering eyes; and when we shall joyfully acknowledge with what majestic grandeur the world has ever been governed by its glorious King! Then, when we hear how He has governed ourselves, and trace the path along which He has led us since childhood, and understand the reasons which induced Him at such a time and in such a way to afflict us;—then, when the ways and thoughts of that mind and heart are laid bare;—and then, too, when we recall our fears, our doubts, our rebellions, our want of confidence in Him, what shall our thoughts and feelings be? When His love and ours, His wisdom and ours, His plans and ours, are thus contrasted, as we sit down at the great supper with our own Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and every one worthy of our love restored to us for ever, beholding the unveiled face of our Lord in glory; oh, then, it might seem almost essential to our peace to be able to weep bitterly, and repent heartily, for our unworthy suspicions and ungenerous treatment of such a Friend and Saviour! But, blessed be His name! we shall then be able to give Him all He asks, our whole hearts, and, like Mary, kneel at His feet, and there pour forth the sweet fragrance of our gratitude, love, and joy, as we too hear from His lips such words as these uttered amidst the light and glory of the upper sanctuary: “Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God!”
What will happen during this year to ourselves and to those whom we love? Life or death—health or sickness—joy or sorrow—good or evil? What will the coming twelve months bring to me and mine? What may be—what must be—what ought to be? Such questions, multiplied a hundredfold, or broken up into every variety of anxious inquiry, often fill the heart and mind on the first day of a new year.
Now, is it possible for us to find rest and peace for our spirits as we steadily contemplate the future, with its darkness and light, with all the duties and trials which it contains, and with all that it may and must bring forth? Is there any secret of strength and comfort by which we can with courage and hope encounter all the possibilities of the future? There is. Let us only trust God, and we need not fear anything, but welcome everything!
Let us consider this; and, first of all, understand what is meant by trusting God.