It could only be said of the Perfect Servant that “He shall not fail nor be discouraged” (Isa 42:4). We all experience times when our courage fails and we look at circumstances that discourage us. It is possible to be over occupied with our weakness, smallness and failure. I am not suggesting that we become complacent or satisfied with our low spirituality. We are all aware that there is a great lack of conviction and commitment, and the result is the weakening of assembly testimony.
However, we should not speak as if all the godly have ceased and all the good days are in the past. We must confess that we are weak and failing, but let us not forget that our God lives and He has said, “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal 3:6). This statement is the foundation for what follows, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: And the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name” (Mal 3:16).
There are three lessons from spiritual history that we need to remember. (1) Testimony that has been committed to failing man has always been characterized boy erosion, decline, and departure. (2) God has ever and always been the God of recovery. This is the long history of testimony. Again and again, God has spoken, “O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord” (Ezek 37:4). Take courage, God is still able and willing to revive His work, Let us pray again, “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years” (Hab 3:2). (3) God’s testimony has ever had remnant character.
Faithfulness to God and His Word is not seen in the great mass of profession, but in the few who hear His Word and obey it. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Ps 27:14). It has been two New Testament passages that have suggested this subject to me. The Lord well knew that at times our heads would hang down. He said, “…then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). He also knew that our knees would tremble and our hands would hang down, so He said, “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees and make straight paths for your feet” (Heb 12:12). We have great cause to rejoice. In sixty years of being in assembly fellowship I can testify to the heartfelt love and kindness of God’s beloved people: “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). There are many faithful and true older believers and there are many exercised, devoted younger believers. Younger servants who labor diligently in the gospel, the work done by the Seed Sowers, and so many young believers at conferences who are eager to hear and learn, should make us “…lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens!”