top of page
  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

Success Is Certain When The Lord Has Promised It



This is one of the parables of nature which we may apply in many directions. It expresses the truth that often out of seeming nothingness there arises the very blessing most desired.



(1) "There is nothing." So the disciples thought when, from the top of Olivet, they gazed into heaven after their departed Master.

But was there indeed nothing to come?

Yes, there was everything. That little cloud which had shrouded Him from their sight was full of blessings. Christ was gone, but Christendom and Christianity were coming.

(2) "There is nothing." So we think as we look into the wide world and see no visible trace of its eternal Maker and Ruler. But the absence of any especial presence is itself an expressive indication of the spiritual nature of things Divine. Let us hold on, "knowing, fearing nothing; trusting, hoping all."

(3) "There is nothing." So we say to ourselves as, in the blank desolation of sorrow, we look on the lonely work that lies before us. The voice that cheered us is silent, and the hand that upheld us is cold in the grave. But out of that tender memory comes at last a cloud of blessings.

(4) "There is nothing." So it would seem as we look at the small materials with which we have to carry on the conflict against the great powers of nature.

(5) "There is nothing." So we sometimes think as we look on the barren fields of theological and metaphysical controversy.

(6) "There is nothing." So we think as we look on many a human spirit and think how little there is of good within it, how hard is the ground that has to be broken, how slight is the response that is to be elicited.

(7) "There is nothing." So we think of the small effects which any effort after good can accomplish. Yet here also out of that nothingness often rises that little cloud not bigger than a man's hand, yet the very hand that relieves us, that grasps us, that saves us from perishing. "Be not weary in welldoing." "Patience worketh experience, and experience hope."

"Success is certain when the Lord has promised it."

Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when his people are earnest in a matter which concerns his glory. The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle with God, and never for a moment gave way to a fear that he should be non-suited in Jehovah's courts. Six times the servant returned, but on each occasion no word was spoken but “Go again.” We must not dream of unbelief, but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel's brow, and if nothing is beheld, she sends again and again. So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is animated to plead more fervently with her God. She is humbled, but not abashed: her groans are deeper, and her sighings more vehement, but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand. It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer, but believing souls have learned to be submissive, and to find it good to wait for as well as upon the Lord.

Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: deadly blows are thus struck at our corruption, and the chambers of imagery are cleansed. The great danger is lest men should faint, and miss the blessing. Reader, do not fall into that sin, but continue in prayer and watching. At last the little cloud was seen, the sure forerunner of torrents of rain, and even so with you, the token for good shall surely be given, and you shall rise as a prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought.

Elijah was a man of like passions with us: his power with God did not lie in his own merits. If his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious blood with unceasing importunity, and it shall be with you according to your desire.


References: 1 Kings 18:43.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 274; A. K. H. B., Towards the Sunset, p. 167. 1Ki 18—J. Foster, Lectures, 1st series, p. 206. 1 Kings 19:1-3.—J. M. Neale, Sermons in Sackville College, vol. iii., p. 47. 1 Kings 19:1-4.—J. R. Macduff, The Prophet of Fire, p. 143. 1 Kings 19:1-18.—Parker, Fountain, Feb. 22nd, 1877; W. M. Taylor, Elijah the Prophet, p. 129.


bottom of page