The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Friday, June 27, 2014

A high-five to Berit Kjos who brought this to my attention:

The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine. He has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God's Word, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace," and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above.
But experience tells us that if the course of the just be "As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day," sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods, clouds cover the believer's sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light.

There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season. They have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career. They have walked along the "green pastures" by the side of the "still waters." But suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded.
Instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert. In the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste. And they say, "Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen."

Oh! say not so, thou who are walking in darkness. The best of God's saints must drink the wormwood. The dearest of His children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity. No believer can always keep his harp from the willows.

Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb. But now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God's full-grown children.

We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.
Morning and Evening by Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
April 29

 

1 comment:

  1. Spurgeon's writings are such a blessing. I recall reading Pink's writings concerning taking up the cross, I thought it was excellent as well. Pink says this about taking up the cross...

    The word ‘cross” is never found in the plural number, nor is it ever found with the indefinite article before it—“a cross,” Note also that in our text the cross is linked to a verb in the active voice and not the passive. It is not a cross that is laid upon us, but a cross which must be “taken up”! The cross stands for definite realities which embody and express the leading characteristics of Christ’s agony.
    First, the cross is the expression of the world’s hatred. just in proportion as you and I are following Christ, just in proportion as our lives are being lived as His life was lived, just in proportion as we have come out from the world and are in fellowship with Him, so will the world hate us.

    Secondly, the cross stands for a life that is voluntarily surrendered to the will of God. The obedience of Christ should be the obedience of the Christian—voluntary, not compulsory—voluntary, continuous, faithful, without any reserve, unto death. The cross then stands for obedience, consecration, surrender, a life placed at the disposal of God. “If any man will come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me” and “Whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.” In other words, dear friends, the cross stands for the principle of discipleship, our life being actuated by the same principle that Christ’s was. He came here and He pleased not Himself: no more must I. He made Himself of no reputation: so must I. He went about doing good: so should I. He came not to be ministered unto but to minister: so should we. He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. That is what the cross stands for: First, the reproach of the world—because we have antagonized it, raised its ire by separating ourselves from it, and are walking on a different plane, and through being actuated by different principles from those by which it walks. Second, a life sacrificed unto God—laid down in devotion to Him.
    In the third place, the cross stands for vicarious sacrifice and suffering. He died that we might live and, my friends, we have to die that we may live.
    What was Christ sent here to do? To glorify the Father: to express God’s love; to manifest God’s grace; to weep over Jerusalem; to have compassion on the ignorant and those that are out of the way; to toil so assiduously that He had no leisure so much as to eat; to live a life of such self-sacrifice that even His kinsfolk said, “He is beside Himself.” and, “as the Father hath sent Me, even so,” says Christ, “send I you”: In other words, I send you back into the world out of which I have saved you. I send you back into the world to live with the cross stamped upon you. O brethren and sisters, how little “blood” there is in our lives! How little is there the bearing of the dying of Jesus in our bodies (2 Cor. 4:10) - A. W. Pink, from http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Miscellaneous/cross_bearing.htm

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