The Consolations of God and Secret Things
Job 15:11
Are the consolations of God small with you? is there any secret thing with you?

This is a beautiful expression, "the consolations of God." Poor, indeed, are the world's best consolations. But He who has made us does not wish us to rest in these, but gives Himself to us as the consolation. The Gospel is the grand scheme whereby God becomes ours, and we are His; whereby the consolations of God become the consolations of man. If, then, a Christian is a tried man, he ought to be a joyful man — a man abounding in consolation.


1. It is the one great privilege of the true Christian, to know that his sins are forgiven. It is God's gracious will, not only that we should be reconciled to Himself through faith in Christ, but that we should be conscious of our reconciliation. It is just the want of this which we take to be the first mark of all those Christians whose consolations are small. It is possible to live in practical forgetfulness that our sins have been forgiven, and this forgetfulness is always a sign of lukewarmness, and of a very low state of Christian feeling and conduct.

2. Again, Jesus is very near His people, according to His own gracious promise. What singleness of aim in life, what encouragement in duty, what steadfastness in conflict, and what hopefulness in work, this consciousness of the presence of Christ would give us. But, alas! is it not just in this that we grievously fail? How many are the hours of our life — how many are the duties which we perform — how many are the works in which we engage, without thinking of our Saviour's presence and nearness! This may be taken as a second mark. If we live as though Christ were not near, our consolations cannot abound.

3. Not only are great things now given to the true Christian, but still greater things are promised. How pleasant should heaven be to our thoughts. But here also we fail. As our thoughts of heaven, so will our consolation be, little of one, little of the other.


1. Some besetting sin. "Is there any secret thing with thee?" Many things may be given up, but if only one wrong thought or feeling be retained — one bad habit spared — the injury it will do is incalculable. There is something, it seems a little thing, which we spare. The temper is not always controlled; the tongue is not always bridled; unforgiving feelings are not earnestly uprooted at once. Whatever our besetting sin be, if yielded to but a little, it will darken the heart. It will hinder communion with God.

2. Another secret thing is want of faith. Some look too much into their own hearts, too little to Christ. They know but little of the unsearchable riches which are laid up in Him for our daily use and consolation; hence their hands often hang down, and their knees are feeble. They make little progress.

3. Another secret thing is spiritual sloth. There are many who are very active in body and mind, who, nevertheless, are spiritually very slothful. They are slothful in prayer, and in reading the Bible. Every Christian should seek to attain a fresh and lively spirit, a readiness for communion with God, and for every good work. A spirit of sloth and self. indulgence eats as a canker into the spiritual life, and reduces our consolation to the smallest possible degree. If this "secret thing" is allowed in our hearts, it is no wonder that our consolations are small.

4. One more secret thing is, guilt upon the conscience. It is essential to a close walk with God, never to allow the guilt of sin to rankle in the conscience, for this is always followed by estrangement of heart from God. Any delay in confessing sin, and casting it upon Jesus, is injurious, and tends to hinder communion with God. The consolations of the Spirit are suspended, and the heart sinks into a low state. Such are some of the secret things which hinder the consolations of God. May God enable us by His grace to guard against them, that our consolations may abound, and our joy may be full.

(George Wagner.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?

WEB: Are the consolations of God too small for you, even the word that is gentle toward you?

The Consolations of God
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