Psalm 116:6 – The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
Thousands of times has this experience of the psalmist been repeated. It is the Divine method. Bring low and then help. Cast down and then lift up.
There are some diseases of the human system which the skilful physician thus treats. He begins at once to deplete and bring down the patient, reducing him little by little till the unskilled observer trembles lest life itself will depart. But at the right moment when the disease has been expelled the restoratives are applied, and a new life enters into the system. And there is a rapid and healthy building up. Brought low he has been helped.
So in all God’s gracious dealings with human souls, this is His method. Take the process in conversion. First comes the terrible conviction. The soul discovers depth after depth of the evil within it, till it seems as though its condition were absolutely hopeless. And when this process is complete, and the soul is thoroughly cast down, brought low, then the Infinite Helper stretches forth His hand. Then power from on high comes. And thus through all the stages of the Christian life. The soul is brought low, pride is humbled, lofty looks are brought down, and then the help comes.
Was it not thus with poor sinning Peter? He had grown self-reliant. He could even boast of his resolution and firmness. But when the trial came he was weaker than weakness itself, and fell; terribly, disgracefully fell. He wept bitterly. But just when the humiliation was complete he was reinstated in his office, and commissioned to feed Christ’s sheep. He was brought low and he was helped. Ask the aged and experienced disciple of to-day how it had been with him in the long years of his pilgrimage. He will tell you that he has many times been laid low, even in the dust, and just then he has been helped.
Divine help is neither welcomed nor appreciated till the soul is taught its need of it in the stern school of experience. The process may not be pleasant at the time, but an infallible, Physician superintends it.