Evening, July 15, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening (Note: an error was made in my day ordering; this is the July 16th devotion)
“ You will arise and have compassion on Zion; for it is time to be gracious to her, for the appointed time has come. Surely Your servants find pleasure in her stones and feel pity for her dust.” — Psalm 102:13-14
A selfish man in trouble is extremely hard to comfort, because the springs that are his comfort lie entirely within himself, and when he is sad all his springs are dry. But a large-hearted man full of Christian generosity, has other springs from which to supply himself with comfort beside those which lie within. He can go to his God first of all, and there find abundant help; and he can discover arguments for comfort in things relating to the world at large, to his country, and, above all, to the church. David in this Psalm was exceedingly sorrowful; he wrote, “I am like an owl of the desert. I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.” The only way in which he could comfort himself, was in reflecting that God would arise, and have mercy upon Zion. Though he was sad, yet Zion should prosper; however low his own situation, yet Zion should arise. Christian man! Learn to comfort yourself in God’s gracious dealing towards the church. That which is so dear to your Master, should it not be dear above all else to you? Even if your way is dark, can’t you make glad your heart with the triumphs of his cross and the spread of his truth? Our own personal troubles are forgotten while we look, not only upon what God has done, and is doing for Zion, but on the glorious things he will yet do for his church. Try this prescription, believer, whenever your heart is sad and spirit is heavy: forget yourself and your little concerns, and seek the welfare and prosperity of Zion. When you bend your knee in prayer to God, don’t limit your petition to the narrow circle of your own life, even though it is taxing, but send out your longing prayers for the church’s prosperity, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” and your own soul shall be refreshed.