I am sure I cannot endure to the end!
(Letters of John Newton)
"but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." Jeremiah 32:40
Jesus, to whom I have been led to commit myself, has engaged to save me, absolutely, and from first to last. He has promised not only that He will not depart from me — but that He will put, keep, and maintain His fear in my heart — so that I shall never finally depart from Him! And if He does not do this for me — I have no security against my turning apostate! For I am so weak, inconsistent, and sinful; I am so encompassed with deadly snares from the world; and I am so liable to such assaults from the subtlety, vigilance, and power of Satan — that, unless I am "kept by the power of God," I am sure I cannot endure to the end!
I do believe that the Lord will keep me while I walk humbly and obediently before Him; but, were this all — it would be cold comfort! For I am prone to wander — and need a Shepherd whose watchful eye, compassionate heart, and boundless mercy — will pity, pardon, and restore my backslidings!
For, though by His goodness and not my own — I have hitherto been preserved in the path of holiness; yet I feel those evils within me, which would shortly break loose and bear me down to destruction, were He not ever present with me to control them.
Those who comfortably hope to see His face in glory — but depend upon their own watchfulness and endeavours to preserve themselves from falling — must be much wiser, better, and stronger than I am! Or at least they cannot have so deep and painful a sense of their own weakness and vileness, as daily experience forces upon me. I desire to be found in the use of the Lord's appointed means for the renewal of my spiritual strength — but I dare not undertake to watch a single hour, nor do I find ability to think a good thought, nor a power in myself of resisting any temptation! My strength is perfect weakness — and all I have is sin.
In short, I must sit down in despair — if I did not believe that He who has begun a good work in me, will carry it out to completion.
"Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe" Psalm 119:117