The Lord is Our Portion

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
– Lamentations 3:24
Is the Lord enough for us? The secret of joy, contentment, hope and victory over temptation is resting in and knowing that the Lord is enough. We ultimately don’t need all the other things of this world.
Thomas-BrooksThomas Brooks (1608-1680) comments on the above verse:
“All the soul needs is found in God.
There is light to enlighten the soul,
wisdom to counsel the soul,
power to support the soul,
goodness to supply the soul,
mercy to pardon the soul,
beauty to delight the soul,
glory to ravish the soul,
and fullness to fill the soul.
Health is not more suitable to a sick man,
wealth to a poor man, bread to a hungry man,
drink to a thirsty man, clothes to a naked man,
balm to a wounded man, ease to a tormented man,
and pardon to a condemned man,
that this portion is to all the needs of man.
No earthly portion can suit an immortal soul…
Nothing else can satisfy the soul without God”
 

From the pen of George Swinnock (1627-1673):
The portions in this world are like candles
that are consumed with use and then go out.
Here is God, there is the world;
here bread, and their husk;
here substance, there a shadow;
here a Paradise, there an apple;
here is fullness, there is emptiness;
here in fountain, there a broken cistern;
here are all things, there is nothing;
here is heaven, there is hell;
here eternity of pleasure, there eternity of sorrow and pain.
Now, is not this an infinite reason to choose God for your portion?

Whatever your necessity, he can relieve it.
He is silver, gold, honor, delight, food, clothing,
house, land, peace, wisdom, power, beauty, father,
mother, wife, husband, mercy, love, grace, glory,
and infinitely more than all these.
There are all sorts of delights in him.
See God, and you see all. Enjoy God, and enjoy all.

The Lord is Your Portion

Thomas Brooks, a Puritan pastor, counsels believers
to confront all temptations
(the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life) with the words of the Psalmist:
“The LORD is my portion” (16:5; 73:26; 119:57; 142:5).

He exhorts:

Every blast and every wind of temptation will overset and overturn that man that hath not God for his portion. Such a man may pray a thousand times over and over, ‘Lord, lead me not into temptation,’ and yet every day falls before the least temptation, as common experience doth abundantly evidence;
whereas a man that hath God for his portion will stand fast like a rock in all storms, yea, in the face of all temptations he will be like mount Zion,
that cannot be removed.

Luther counsels every Christian to answer all temptations with the short saying, ‘I am a Christian’  and I would counsel every Christian to answer all temptations with this short saying, ‘The Lord is my portion.’

O Christian, when Satan or the world shall tempt thee with honors,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion,’
when they shall tempt thee with riches, answer,. ‘the Lord is my portion;’
when they shall tempt thee with preferment, answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’ and when they shall tempt thee with the favors of great ones,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
yea and when this persecuting world shall threaten thee with the loss of thy estate, answer ‘the Lord is my portion;’
and when they shall threaten thee with the loss of thy liberty,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
and when they shall threaten thee with the loss of friends,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
and when they shall threaten thee with the loss of life,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;. O sirs!

If Satan should come to you with an apple, as once he did to Eve,
tell him the “the Lord is your portion;”
or with a grape, as once he did to Noah,
tell him that “the Lord is your portion;
or with a change of raiment, as once he did to Gehazi,
tell him that ‘the Lord is your portion;
or with a wedge of gold, as once he did to Achan,
tell him that “the Lord is your portion;”
or with a bag of silver, as once he did with Judas,
tell him that “the Lord is your portion.”[1]

[1] Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, vol 2, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart (Edinburgh, Scotland: James Nichol, 1666), 114.

How to face temptation – Sage Counsel from Thomas Brooks

Thomas Brooks, a Puritan pastor, counsels believers to confront all temptations (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the boastful pride of life) with the words of the Psalmist: “The LORD is my portion” (16:5; 73:26; 119:57; 142:5). He exhorts:

Luther counsels every Christian to answer all temptations with the short saying, ‘I am a Christian’ and I would counsel every Christian to answer all temptations with this short saying, ‘The Lord is my portion.’

  • O Christian, when Satan or the world shall tempt thee with honors, answer, ‘the Lord is my portion,’
  • when they shall tempt thee with riches, answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
  • when they shall tempt thee with preferment, answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
  • and when they shall tempt thee with the favors of great ones, answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
  • yea and when this persecuting world shall threaten thee with the loss of thy estate, answer ‘the Lord is my portion;’
  • and when they shall threaten thee with the loss of thy liberty, answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
  • and when they shall threaten thee with the loss of friends, answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
  • and when they shall threaten thee with the loss of life, answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;.
  • O sirs! If Satan should come to you with an apple, as once he did to Eve, tell him the “the Lord is your portion;”
  • or with a grape, as once he did to Noah, tell him that “the Lord is your portion;
  • or with a change of raiment, as once he did to Gehazi, tell him that ‘the Lord is your portion;
  • or with a wedge of gold, as once he did to Achan, tell him that “the Lord is your portion;”
  • or with a bag of silver, as once he did with Judas, tell him that “the Lord is your portion.”[1]

[1] Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, vol 2, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart (Edinburgh, Scotland: James Nichol, 1666), 114.