| How are we to walk safely along such a path?|
"Hold me up, and I shall be safe." Psalm 119:117
The path is not easy.
There are many rough stones over which we may
stumble, if we are not walking very carefully.
There are places which look quite smooth, but
they are more dangerous than the rough ones,
for they are slippery.
There are little holes, hidden under the flowers,
which may catch our feet and give us a bad fall.
There are muddy ditches, into which we
may slip and get sadly wet and dirty.
How are we to walk safely along such a path?
We need a strong, kind hand to hold us up,
and to hold us always; a hand that will hold
ours tightly and lovingly.
Yes! Christ's loving hand is able to keep us from falling.
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed,
for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you.
I will uphold you with My victorious right hand."
(Frances Ridley Havergal, "Morning Bells" 1880)
| 2008/2/13 14:00||Profile|
| Re: How are we to walk safely along such a path?|
"I will turn My hand against you and will burn away
your dross completely; I will remove all your impurities."
Afflictions cleanse and purge away the dross, the filth,
and the scum of the Christian.
All the harm the fire did to the three children, or rather
the three champions--was to burn off their cords. Our
lusts are cords of vanity, but the fire of affliction shall
burn them up. Sharp afflictions are a fire--to purge out
our dross, and to make our graces shine; they are a
potion--to carry away ill humours; they are cold frosts
--to destroy the vermin; they are a tempestuous sea--
to purge the wine from its dregs; they are a sharp
corrosive--to eat out the dead flesh.
Afflictions are compared to washing--which takes away
the filth of the soul, as water does the filth of the body.
God would not rub so hard, were it not to fetch out
the dirt and spots that are in His people's hearts.
(Thomas Brooks, "The Privy Key of Heaven" 1665)
| 2008/2/13 14:04||Profile|
The greatest antidote against all the troubles of
this life, is fervent prayer.
"Lord, in trouble have they visited you; they
poured out a prayer when Your chastening
was upon them." Isaiah 26:16
"They poured out a prayer." Before, they would
say a prayerbut now, they poured out a prayer.
Saints never visit God more with their prayers
than when He visits them most with His rod.
Saints never pray with . . .
that frequencyas they do, when they are
under the mighty chastening hand of God!
A sincere Christian never prays so sweetlyas
when under God's rod. When a Christian is in
troublethen prayer is his food and drink.
Oh, what a spirit of prayer was . . .
upon Jonahwhen he was in the whale's belly; and
upon Danielwhen he was among the lions; and
upon Davidwhen fleeing in the wilderness; and
upon the dying thiefwhen he was on the cross; and
upon Jacobwhen his brother Esau came to meet him
with four hundred bloody cut-throats at his heels!
When a Christian is under great troubles, deep distresses,
and most extreme dangers; he should pray . . .
more for the sanctification of afflictionthan its removal;
more to get off his sinsthan to get off his chains;
more to get good by the rodthan to get free from the rod;
that his afflictions may be a purifying and refining fire,
that his heart may be low and his graces high,
that he may be more weaned from this world,
that he be more ripe for eternal glory.
(Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")
| 2008/2/13 14:06||Profile|
The very storms through which the believer passes,
will only strengthen him to take a firmer hold of Christ.
As the same wind that blows down the poplar tree, only
establishes the oak tree; so the very storms which
uproot the shallow professor, only root the child of
God more firmly in Christ.
Though these storms may shake off some of his
leaves, or break off some of the rotten boughs, they
do not uproot his faithbut rather strengthen it.
It is in these storms that he learns . . .
more of his own weakness, and of Christ's strength;
more of his own misery, and of Christ's mercy;
more of his own sinfulness, and of superabounding grace;
more of his own poverty, and of Christ's riches;
more of his own desert of hell, and of his own title to heaven.
It is in these storms that the same blessed Spirit who
began the work carries it on; and goes on to engrave
the image of Christ in deeper characters upon his heart;
and to teach him more and more experimentallythe
truth as it is in Jesus.
| 2008/2/13 14:07||Profile|