“My times are in your hand.” Psalm 31:15
Our times of adversity are also in God’s hand. As every sunbeam that brightens, so every cloud that darkens, comes from God. We are subject to great and sudden reverses in our earthly condition. Joy is often succeeded by grief, prosperity by adversity. We are on the pinnacle today, tomorrow at its bottom. Oh! What a change may one event and one moment create! But, beloved, ALL is from the Lord.
Afflictions do not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. Sorrow cannot come until God bids it. Until God in His sovereignty permits-health cannot fade, wealth cannot vanish, comfort cannot decay, friendship cannot chill, and loved ones cannot die. Your time of sorrow is His appointment. The bitter cup which it may please the Lord that you shall drink this year will not be mixed by human hands. In the hand of the Lord is that cup! Some treasure you are now pressing to your heart, He may ask you to resign. Some blessing you now possess, He may bid you to relinquish. Some fond expectation you now cherish, He may will that you should forego. Some lonely path, He may design that you should tread.
Yes, He may even bereave you of all, and yet all, ALL is in His hand! His hand! A Father’s hand, moving in thick darkness, is shaping every event, and arranging every detail in your life! Has sickness laid you on a bed of suffering? Has bereavement darkened your home? Has adversity impoverished your resources? Has change lessened your comforts? Has sorrow in one of its many forms crushed your spirit to the earth? The Lord has done it! In all that has been sent, in all that has be recalled, and in all that has been withheld-His hand, noiseless and unseen has brought it about!
Ah! yes, that hand of changeless love blends a sweet with every bitter-pencils a bright rainbow in each dark cloud-upholds each faltering step-shelters within its hollow-and guides with unerring skill, His chosen people safe to eternal glory! Dear child of God, your afflictions, your trials, your crosses, your losses, your sorrows, all, ALL are in your heavenly Father’s hand, and they cannot come until sent by Him!
Bow that stricken heart-yield that tempest-tossed soul to His sovereign disposal, to His calm, righteous sway, in the submissive spirit and language of your suffering Savior, “May Your will, O my Father! not mine, be done. My times of sadness and of grief are in Your hand.” Beloved, all is in your Father’s hand! Be those times what they may-times of trial, times of temptation, times of suffering, times of peril, times of sunshine or of gloom, or times of life or death, they are in your Father’s hand!
Has the Lord seen fit to recall some fond blessing, to deny some earnest request, or painfully to discipline your heart? All this springs from a Father’s love as fully as though He had unlocked His treasury and poured its costliest gifts at your feet! All of our times are in our Redeemer’s hands! That same Redeemer who carried our sorrows in His heart, our curse and sins on His soul, our cross on His shoulder; who died, who rose again, and who lives and intercedes for us, and who will gather all His ransomed around Him in glory, is your Guardian and your Guide! Your times are in the hands of Him who still bears the print of the nails!