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Objection: My Fear Remains That I Am a Barren Soul and Will Perish at Last

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation to Good Traders in Christianity

Advice: Bless God for Good Trading

Objection: I Fear That I Am a Barren Soul and Will Perish at Last}

OBJECTION: It is the desire of my soul to live so as to exercise every grace and complete every duty. I have weakly endeavored to do so but am way, way short. Despite many prayers for this prosperity of soul I cannot yet attain to it. I think I am like a withered arm, a dead, dry tree, and a barren womb. Nothing does me any good; no food, seed, or showers make me thriving and fruitful. I fear I will at last be cut down and bundled for the fire.

SOLUTION: You may thrive in Christianity and not know it for a season. You may be making a profit but not know it. The tradesman may bring home gain in his bag before it is counted. People do not know their profitability until they balance their books. Your prosperity may be as a boxed jewel or friend in a disguise. If you want to estimate your profitability, survey yourselves; compare your present condition with your former condition: what were you, and what are you now? Speak out, soul: was there not a time when you were blind and could see no evil in sin nor excellence in grace? But now your eye is opened and things appear different to your soul than before. Now there is nothing so vile as your wicked heart and ways, and nothing so desirable as Christ and holiness.

You were once dead in sin and did not feel or fear any hurt in it. You were oblivious to its danger. But now it is otherwise; you cannot sin without your conscience hitting you. If God threatens you, you are frightened. Your quick-eyed conscience spies out the least failing in your duty, falseness in your heart, or error in your life and, as a policeman, arrests you and hauls you to the judge. You could formerly live without God and be as unperturbed as a corpse in a grave or a burning stick in a fire. But now being without God is like a dislocated joint; you are restless until in communion with Him. “When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah” (Psalm 77:3 ESV).

You were not on the right path and even an enemy to the way of life. You were not of Christ’s flock and even hurt those who were. But now you are part of Christ’s flock and feed beside the Shepherd’s tents (Song of Solomon 1:8).1447 Your feet follow His steps and you esteem the words of His mouth more than your necessary food (Job 23:11–12).1448

1447If you do not know, O fairest among women, Follow in the footsteps of the flock, And feed your little goats Beside the shepherds’ tents” (Song of Solomon 1:8 NKJV).

1448My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:11–12 NASB).

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