Evening, September 28, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Go again seven times.” — 1 Kings 18:43
Success is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without any evidence of an answer, it is impossible that the Lord should be deaf when his people are seeking in 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 not accepted in Jehovah’s courts. Six times the servant returned, but on each occasion no word was spoken but, “Go again.” We must not think of losing belief, but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel’s peak, 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 sighs 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 to searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: deadly blows are thus struck at our corruption, and the chambers of our imagination are cleansed. The great danger is that men should grow weary, 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.