How is it that some of us are converted, while our companions in sin are left to persevere in their godless career? Was there anything good in us that moved the heart of God to save us? God forbid that we should indulge the blasphemous thought!
Let your tears fall because of sin; but, at the same time, let the eye of faith steadily behold the Son of man lifted up, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, that those who are bitten by the old serpent may look unto Jesus and live. Our sinnership is that emptiness into which the Lord pours his mercy.
Sometimes the Father may box us in, place us in a situation in which, one by one, all our secondary helps and supports are taken from us, in order that, defenseless, we may lean on His mercy alone - prayer. Once we see this, we will no longer regard prayer as a pious cop-out but as our only rational activity.
A man does not get grace till he comes down to the ground, till he sees he needs grace. When a man stoops to the dust and acknowledges that he needs mercy, then it is that the Lord will give him grace.