Restraining Grace

Restraining Grace

John MacDuff

“Satan hath desired to have you-that he may sift you as wheat.
 But I have prayed for thee-that thy faith fail not.” Luke 22:31, 32

What a scene does this unfold!
Satan tempting-Jesus praying!
Satan sifting-Jesus pleading!
“The strong man assailing”-“the stronger than the strong” beating him back!

Believer! here is the past history and present secret of your safetyin the midst of temptation! An interceding Savior was at your side, saying to every threatening wave, “Thus far shall you go-and no farther!” God often permits His people to be on the very verge of the precipice, to remind them of their own weakness; but never farther than the brink! The restraining hand and grace of Omnipotence is ready to rescue them, “Although he stumbles-yet he shall not be utterly cast down.” And why? “For the Lord upholds him with His right hand!”

The wolf may be prowling for his prey; but what can he do, when the almighty Shepherd is always there, tending with the watchful eye that “neither slumbers nor sleeps!”

Who cannot subscribe to the testimony, “When my foot slipped, Your mercy, O Lord, held me up!” Who can look back on his past pilgrimage, and fail to see it crowded with Ebenezers, with this inscription: “You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling!” My soul, where would you have been this day-had you not been “kept” by the power of God?

“Hold Thou me up-and I shall be safe!” Psalm 119:117

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