Summary: A real ray of hope.
1. Ira D. Sankey, the composer, relates the following incident regarding the birth of this hymn:
Simply trusting every day, trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small, trusting Jesus—that is all.
Singing if my way is clear, praying if the path be drear;
If in danger, for Him call, trusting Jesus—that is all.
2. All of our problems are really only imaginary, reminds me of an article by a medical doctor who told of examining an increasing number of patients with various alleged symptoms, and of how he finally had to coin a new word when determining a diagnosis - "in-cop-ability."
These were people who had no apparent physical problems but somehow were just unable to cope with the pace, pressures, and problems of contemporary life.
Tragically this "in-cop-ability," in turn, often triggers a whole chain reaction of physical, emotional, and spiritual responses which can be devastating to our lives.
How important, that we simple trust in the Person and Promises of God - trusting Jesus no matter what our senses tell us, that is all!
3. The Appointed Seed Must Succeed.
Wiersbe, "The only ray of hope in that dark day was God's promise that a Redeemer would one day be born of the woman and conquer the serpent (3:15).
But Abel was dead, so he couldn't beget a child [to continue the seed line]; Would God's promise be fulfilled? How could it be fulfilled?
God is sovereign in all things and His plans aren't frustrated by the foolish and sinful ways of mankind. Because He is the sovereign God, He "works all things according to the counsel of His will" (Eph. 1:11, nkjv).
The Lord enabled Eve to conceive and bear a son whom she named Seth ("granted") because God had appointed him to replace Abel."
I. FIRST, THE PREDICTION OF A COMING SEED.
"And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel." Genesis 3:15 (NASB)
"This is a glorious promise: some descendent of the woman was to destroy the serpent. The serpent would strike the descendent's heel and bruise him, but the descendent would strike the final and fatal blow. The descendent would crush the serpent's head. This is definitely a promise of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Note: this is the first promise of the Savior in the Bible, and the promise is unconditional: the Savior would come and He would destroy the serpent (tempter) in order to reconcile man with God." [Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible]
They are Certain— "Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant." 1 Kings 8:56 (NASB)
They are Completed by God's ability—in Christ:
"and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform." Romans 4:21
"For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us." 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NASB)
They should be Cherished and Claimed— "For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust." 2 Peter 1:4 (NASB)
There are approximately 8,810 promises in the entire Bible. In the Old Testament there are 7,706 and in the New Testament there are 1,104 wonderful promises...
When Christian and Hopeful lay helpless prisoners in Doubting Castle, the property of Giant Despair, Christian said, `What a fool I am, thus to be in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle.' Then he pulled it out of his bosom and began to try at the dungeon door, whose bolt, as he turned the key, gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out.
Then he went to the outward door that leads into the castle yard, and with his key opened that door also. After that he went to the iron gate, for that must be opened too, but that went desperately hard; yet the key did open it.
Escaping from By-path meadow, they went over the stile, where they erected a pillar with this notice: 'Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair, who despiseth the King of the Celestial country and seeks to destroy his holy pilgrims.'