And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things said he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David…
I. THERE ARE MANY THINGS WHICH RENDER US FAINT AND WEARY, sadly conscious of our little strength.
1. The power and force of temptation, the thought that I, the creature of a day, with a nature prone to sin, and pitted, before God and His angels, against Satan and the legions of evil. Oh, Christian, if at any moment the spirit of evil tempts thee, and thou art about to give way, bethink thee of the church of Philadelphia, having a little strength, yet keeping the word of her Lord's patience, and not denying His name. Faint, yet pursuing! Let this be thy watchword in the fight. Rest not until the enemy has fled.
2. The Philadelphian church had kept the word of Her Lord's patience. Affliction is very apt to exhaust the Christian's little strength, so that he should lose patience and begin to doubt.
3. Another cause of discouragement is the coldness and unbelief of other Christians.
4. And then comes that which is so trying to all, to those who have escaped the above-mentioned temptations, to those even who have made great progress in the spiritual life — the sameness of religion. Over and over again the same work has to be done. We wanted to be quit of some, at least, of these old and troublesome tenants; but there they are still. We hoped to go on unto perfection, higher yet; and here we are still in the valleys, doing most undignified work, quite unworthy of our long experience and knowledge. It is very humiliating. But it is also uninteresting, and the want of interest discourages.
II. WHAT ARE THE REMEDIES FOR THIS DISCOURAGEMENT?
1. First, we may search out the promises of God made to His people in Holy Scripture, and therefore made to us. With this we may combine attentive meditation upon the person and character of the Lord Jesus. Most especially remarkable is His tenderness for the weak.
2. Then we must speak of the means of grace, prayer, reading God's holy word, etc.
3. There is one thing which we must especially guard against, that is, impatience. We must not expect an immediate and perfect cure of all our spiritual weakness. We cannot, by any process, make one step between earth and heaven. Is it nothing to hold fast that we have? By and by He will come and relieve us.
(W. Mitchell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
WEB: "To the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia write: "He who is holy, he who is true, he who has the key of David, he who opens and no one can shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says these things: