I will fear no evil: for thou art with me. Psalm 23:4

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.
Psalm 23:4

Behold, how independent of outward circumstances the Holy Ghost can make the Christian! What a bright light may shine within us when it is all dark without! How firm, how happy, how calm, how peaceful we may be, when the world shakes to and fro, and the pillars of the earth are removed! Even death itself, with all its terrible influences, has no power to suspend the music of a Christian’s heart, but rather makes that music become more sweet, more clear, more heavenly, till the last kind act which death can do is to let the earthly strain melt into the heavenly chorus, the temporal joy into the eternal bliss! Let us have confidence, then, in the blessed Spirit’s power to comfort us. Dear reader, are you looking forward to poverty? Fear not; the divine Spirit can give you, in your want, a greater plenty than the rich have in their abundance. You know not what joys may be stored up for you in the cottage around which grace will plant the roses of content. Are you conscious of a
growing failure of your bodily powers? Do you expect to suffer long nights of languishing and days of pain? O be not sad! That bed may become a throne to you. You little know how every pang that shoots through your body may be a refining fire to consume your dross–a beam of glory to light up the secret parts of your soul. Are the eyes growing dim? Jesus will be your light. Do the ears fail you? Jesus’ name will be your soul’s best music, and his person your dear delight. Socrates used to say, “Philosophers can be happy without music;” and Christians can be happier than philosophers when all outward causes of rejoicing are withdrawn. In thee, my God, my heart shall triumph, come what may of ills without! By thy power, O blessed Spirit, my heart shall be exceeding glad, though all things should fail me here below.

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Shortcomings

Shortcomings

O Living God,
I 
that I see the worst of my heart as well as
the best of it,
that I can sorrow for those sins that carry me
from thee,
that it is thy deep and dear mercy to threaten
punishment so that I may return, pray, live.
My sin is to look on my faults and be discouraged,
or to look on my good and be puffed up.
I fall short of thy glory every day by spending
hours unprofitably,
by thinking that the things I do are good,
when they are not done to thy end,
nor spring from the rules of thy Word.
My sin is to fear what never will be;
I forget to submit to thy will, and fail to be
quiet there.
But Scripture teaches me that thy active will
reveals a steadfast purpose on my behalf,
and this quietens my soul,
and makes me love thee.
Keep me always in the understanding
that saints mourn more for sin than other men,
for when they see how great is thy wrath
against sin,
and how Christ’s death alone pacifies that wrath,
that makes them mourn the more.
Help me to see that although I am in the wilderness
it is not all briars and barrenness.
I have bread from heaven, streams from the rock,
light by day, fire by night,
thy dwelling place and thy mercy seat.
I am sometimes discouraged by the way,
but though winding and trying it is safe
and short;
Death dismays me, but my great high priest
stands in its waters,
and will open me a passage,
and beyond is a better country.
While I live let my life be exemplary,
When I die may my end be peace.

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From ‘The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions’
Arthur Bennett, Editor

banneroftruth.org/us/store/devotionalsdaily-readings/the-valley-of-vision/

Understand the Scriptures

3. Be much in the perusal of the Holy Scriptures, and strive to obtain clear and consistent views of the plan of redemption. Learn to contemplate the truth in its true nature, simply, devoutly, and long at a time, that you may receive on your soul the impression which it is calculated to make. Avoid curious and abstruse speculations respecting things unrevealed, and do not indulge a spirit of controversy. Many lose the benefit of the good impression which the truth is calculated to make, because they do not view it simply in its own nature, but as related to some dispute, or as bearing on some other point. As when a man would receive the genuine impression which a beautiful landscape is adapted to make, he must not be turned aside by minute inquiries respecting the botanical character of the plants, the value of the timber, or the fertility of the soil; but he must place his mind in the attitude of receiving the impression which the combined view of the objects before him wil
l naturally produce on the taste. In such cases the effect is not produced by any exertion of the intellect; all such active striving is unfavorable, except in bringing the mind to its proper state. When the impression is most perfect, we feel as if we were mere passive recipients of the effect. To this there is a striking analogy in the way in which the mind is impressed with divine truth. It is not the critic, the speculative or polemic theologian, who is most likely to receive the right impression, but the humble, simple-hearted, contemplative Christian. It is necessary to study the Scriptures critically, and to defend the truth against opposers; but the most learned critic and the most profound theologian must learn to sit at the feet of Jesus in the spirit of a child, or they are not likely to be edified by their studies.

Archibald Alexander, Practical Directions How to Grow in Grace