Look at the last word of this promise—’for evermore.’ Going out and coming in for evermore. I do not know how these words were interpreted when very literal meanings were attached to the parabolic words about the streets of gold and the endless song. But they present no difficulty to us. Indeed, they confirm that view of the future which is ever taking firmer hold of men’s minds, and which is based on the growing sense of the continuity of life. To offer a man an eternity of music-laden rest is to offer him a poor thing. He would rather have his going out and his coming in. Yes, and he shall have them. All that is purest and best in them shall remain. Hereafter he shall still go out to find deeper joys of living and wider visions of life; still come in to greater and ever greater thoughts of God.
THE HABIT OF FAITH
Trust in Him at all times, ye people.
Pour out your heart before Him.
God is a refuge for us.
Ps. lxii. 8.
Here the Psalmist strikes the great note of faith as it should be struck. He sets it ringing alike through the hours and the years. Trust in Him at all times. Faith is not an act, but an attitude; not an event, but a principle; not a last resource, but the first and abiding necessity. It is the constant factor in life’s spiritual reckonings. It is the ever-applicable and the ever-necessary. It is always in the high and lasting fitness of things. There are words that belong to hours or even moments, words that win their meaning from the newly created situation. But faith is not such a word. It stands for something inclusive and imperial. It is one of the few timeless words in earth’s vocabulary. For the deep roots of it and the wide range of it there is nothing like unto it in the whole sweep of things spiritual. So the ‘all times’ trust is not for one moment to be regarded as some supreme degree of faith unto which one here and there may attain and which the rest can well afford to look upon as a counsel of perfection. This exhortation to trust in God at all times concerns first of all the nature of faith and not the measure of it. All real faith has the note of the eternal in it. It can meet the present because it is not of the present. We have grown familiar with the phrase, ‘The man of the moment.’ But who is this man? Sometimes he is very literally a man of the moment—an opportunist, a gambler with the hours, a follower of the main chance.