I do not ask you, without asking myself the question, What is my portion, my happiness, my all? Is it God Himself, or the things of this world? I answer for myself, I could not be satisfied with anything short of this, that God, and God alone, should be my portion, day by day, and week by week, and month by month, and year by year. Oh, beloved friends, stop short of nothing till you come to this, that God Himself is your only portion. The consequence of having Him for your portion will be, that whatever be the circumstance in which you are placed, whether there be war, or famine, or pestilence, or whatever be the circumstances connected with your present life, still you can be happy in the midst of them all. Let it be sickness, or danger, or even the prospect of death itself, God is yours, and you will yet be happy; but if God Himself be not your portion, you are dependent on, and affected by circumstances, and you will be more or less miserable in accordance with the things which surround you. But if you can say “Jehovah is my portion,” you can look forward to brighter and happier days. Jeremiah had this hope, and he looked forward expecting that the people would be brought back again, that Jerusalem would be built again, and that the Temple would be restored. And so it was, after about seventy years. Because the promises were from the living God Himself to the descendants of Abraham, therefore he could say, “The Lord is my portion, therefore will I hope in Him.”
But people will say, this was very well in the days of the prophets and the apostles, but now, in the latter part of the nineteenth century, we cannot expect such things. I believe no such thing. Why should not the people of God be as happy in their God, as ever the prophets or apostles were? Why not? Is not He the same God? Is His power not the same? Is His love to His children not as great as ever it was? Is His willingness to help His children not as great as ever it was? Certainly it is. The blessed Book remains with us; the precious promises are still there; and therefore we ought to remember, that to trust completely in the Lord, and to be happy in Him, is yet as possible as it was to the children of God in the middle of the first, or the beginning of the second century. Why not? There is nothing at all to hinder. You and I are certainly not apostles or prophets, but the blessing of peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, and of the blessed promises, we may enjoy now in the nineteenth century as much as these believers of old; and, together with the prophet, we may say, “Jehovah is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.”
Again, “The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him.” What an especial encouragement this is with regard to the trials and difficulties of life. All of us have sooner or later to pass through difficulties and trials, our path is not always smooth. Yet, in these circumstances, let us lay hold on such a word as this, “Jehovah is good unto them that wait for Him.” To all that wait for Him, He is very good. Let us go and make known our requests to Him, and seek His help, and wait till it comes. For the promise is, “Jehovah is good unto them that wait for Him.” There is something to be had by waiting on the Lord. He is good to them that seek Him. This is especial encouragement to any who may be here who know not the Lord, who are not yet believers in Him. Here is the promise: “The Lord is good to the soul that seeketh. Him.” What they have to do is, just to ask God to have mercy upon them. And they will find that He is good to the soul that seeketh Him. To any inquiring about the things of God, I would say, the soul that seeks Him will have blessing.
And especially is this comforting to us, the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever our trials, perplexities, and difficulties, there is the promise, “The Lord is good to them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.’ There is no such thing as seeking God in vain; the seeking soul shall find. He will not seek blessing, comfort, instruction, power over natural evil tendencies from the Lord in vain. Whether we seek power over our temper, or pride, or high-mindedness, or wilfulness, or whatever may be in us, contrary to the mind of God, let us just bring the case with childlike simplicity before the Lord, and we shall find that it is not in vain to seek the Lord, but that “He is good to them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.”