but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
By faith put off your sackcloth and ashes, and put on the garments of joy and gladness. Let your clothes be white, and your head anointed with oil. Live to the fullest. Live today, live tomorrow, live, O Christian, forever! This you can do if you learn to use your faith. Do you desire to have a continual feast and rejoice always in the Lord? Let me prescribe a daily diet without ever neglecting it. Just as often as you refresh your body with rest and recreation, so cheer up your soul. Let your soul have two or three walks each day up Mount Tabor, that is, in some retired place of meditation and prayer. Go to Isaac’s field to meditate, or David’s closet. What is to be done there? Make use of your faith. This is the chief mystery of our spiritual life. Stir up your soul to talk with Christ. Consider the promises and privileges you enjoy. Think of them, roll them under your tongue, chew on them until you feel their sweetness in your soul. View them together and individually. Sometimes contemplate one in particular, or another more deeply. Consider how wonderful that your debts are cancelled, and how wonderful that God’s wrath is satisfied. Consider how happy and safe a condition you are in as a son of God, and how pleasant a state not to fear death and hell. Mingle these thoughts with prayers for grace and aid. Do not leave the mountain until your heart has been cheerfully warmed and revived. This is using your faith. You will find soul saying ‘It is good to be here.’ It is good to daily be here and often. Unstirred coals do not glow or give heat. The beauty of faith is its use. Don’t just have muscles, use them. Let a man diligently and thoroughly improve his faith and the joy it will bring to him will be great.
Sinclair Ferguson has publicly stated that no one has had a greater spiritual impact on his life than William Still! William Still was the minister of Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen, from 1945 to 1997. While his name may not feature in the official annals of the Church of Scotland, it is doubtful whether any other individual in his Church during the latter half of the twentieth century had such a profound or widespread influence. For over fifty years Mr. Still pioneered a single-minded commitment to expository preaching and congregational prayer which made Gilcomston a beacon of Reformed and evangelical Christianity in Scotland.
A man whose very life breathed the grace and love of God, no one who ever met him, received his counsel, or sat under his ministry, could have escaped the sheer Christlikeness of Mr. Still’s life. In the early days of his ministry he wrote: “There is no part of me, or of my life, that I will withhold from the work that God has called me to.”
It was one of the marks of his evident commitment to the service of Christ that he devoted himself to the pastoral care of his people, providing them with daily Bible reading notes that would feed their souls and prepare them for works of service. The “Notes”, which appeared in the monthly “Congregational Record,” soon became highly sought after across Scotland, the United Kingdom, and even to the far-flung corners of the world, increasing in many a love for and commitment to the Word of God.
Drawn from every book in the Bible, this selection, edited and arranged by David C. Searle, will take the reader through the year with William Still. These pages will explain what it means to live under the authority of Scripture, to exalt the glorious Person of Christ, and to rejoice in the wonder of the gospel.