Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
If Satan fails in his fiery darts of temptation, he will seek to destroy and discourage the Christian with the spirit of fear. Faith alone can quench these fiery darts. These darts are held in the enemies’ reserve. When temptations prove unsuccessful, he opens this quiver and sends a shower of these arrows to set the soul on fire. If he cannot carry a soul laughing to hell, he will endeavor to make him go mourning to heaven. We can be greatly encouraged when we see Satan hard put to use these arrows. The darts of Job were of this sort. When God gave Satan leave to practice his skill, Satan did not use the golden apple of profit or pleasure, but sought to stir up unholy thoughts to defame God: ‘Curse God and Die’, his wife said. This is a great disturbance in the imagination of a saint. Faith will not harbor unworthy thoughts of God in the heart. If your view of God is shaped by Scripture, it is impossible to have anything but holy and loyal thoughts of God. Satan seeks to encourage hard thoughts of God when his providence is hard to understand. Some have questioned God’s justice because he does not judge speedily. Others have questioned his care and faithfulness in not providing better for his servants or in allowing their afflictions. Satan seeks for us to view God through these broken glasses. Job quenched this dart: ‘You speak as a foolish woman.’ What God takes from me is less than I owe him, and what he leaves me is more than I deserve. Unbecoming thoughts or words about God are the product of a rash and hasty spirit. It is fitting for Christians to bless God in the saddest condition that can befall them. Faith finds mercy in the greatest affliction and in the saddest mixture of providence. Praise God for past mercies and it will not be for long before you have a new song in your mouth for the present mercy.
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.