Golden Text—"Lord, thou hast been our dwelling
place [refuge] in all generations."—Psa. 90:1 .
HAPPY surely will all those be who at the close of the year can look backward through it and realize that safe and secure in the city of refuge which God has provided for us as his people, we have been prospering, rejoicing, growing under his favor and guidance in a knowledge of himself and of his plans respecting mankind; and especially respecting the elect church, the body of Christ, which in the school of Christ is now being prepared for the glorious work of the Millennial Kingdom. We trust that our dear readers will find much of encouragement as they look back. If we can see that we have faithfully sought at every step to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, we will have special cause for rejoicing; and if we see, on the contrary, that some of the steps have been crooked and perverse, and if we mourn for such digressions from the narrow way, we may be sure that the Lord is very pitiful, of tender compassion, ready to forgive, to heal, to help. It is for this very reason that he provided this city of refuge, and for this very reason that we must needs abide in it continually—abide in Christ under the cover of his merit and his robe of righteousness. It will comfort our hearts, in any event, to remember the suggestion of the Apostle that if God so loved us while we were yet sinners that he gave his only begotten Son for our redemption, much more does he love us—more even than that, now that we are adopted into his family and seeking to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, however imperfectly our good desires may be accomplished.
We need to make fresh resolutions continually along the way, and now at the close of the year is a favorable time for this. Not that we liberate ourselves in any degree from the everlasting covenant into which we entered with our Lord, but that recognizing its permanence, we strengthen ourselves by re-asserting it to the Lord, telling him of our good desires and intentions in respect to faith for the future, and improving so notable an occasion as the beginning of another year for this reiteration of our loyalty and of our confidence in his faithfulness.