Years of Mercy |

TBC Staff

The sound of the words, “this year also,” makes some of us remember years of great mercy, sparkling and flashing with delight. Were those years laid at the Lord’s feet? They were comparable to the silver bells upon the horses—were they “holiness unto the Lord? If not, how shall we answer for it if “this year also” should be musical with merry mercy and yet be spent in the ways of carelessness? The same words recall some of us our years of sharp affliction when we were, indeed, dug about and fertilized. How went those years? God was doing great things for us, exercising careful and expensive husbandry, caring for us with exceedingly great and wise care—did we render according to the benefit received? Did we rise from the bed more patient and gentle, weaned from the world and welded to Christ? Did we bring forth clusters to reward the dresser of the vineyard? Let us not refuse these questions of self-examination, for it may be this is to be another of these years of captivity, another season of the furnace and the refining pot! The Lord grant that the coming tribulation may take more chaff out of us than any of its predecessors—and leave the wheat cleaner and better. The new year also reminds us of opportunities for usefulness which have come and gone—and of unfulfilled resolutions which have blossomed only to fade. Shall “this year also” be as those which have gone before? May we not hope for Grace to advance upon Grace already gained and should we not seek for power to turn our poor sickly promises into robust action? Looking back on the past we lament the follies by which we would not willingly be held captive “this year also,” and we adore the forgiving mercy, the preserving Providence, the boundless liberality, the Divine love of which we hope to be partakers “this year also.”

(Charles Spurgeon, Excerpt from the sermon For the New Year, 1879)