Archive for March 11th, 2010

We should strive to hold our beliefs with a charity and kindness that won’t embarrass us in heaven.

source: Joshua Harris, Dug Down Deep, p. 229.

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(Psalms 42:11) Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

The Father is engaged to give his people peace by his prerogative, commandment, promise, redemption and chastising of his people.

The Son is engaged to give his people peace by his disposition (meekly riding a donkey, will not call out in the streets) and by his office as High Priest. As well as by his qualifications and endowments that he received from his Father for this purpose.

(Isaiah 50:4) The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are learned, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.

The Spirit is engaged to give his people peace by his virtue of his being our Advocate/Comforter.

"Do you want peace and comfort and quietude of soul?  Take heed how you walk with doubting company … one opposer of godliness draws on another, and one adulterer makes another; so one doubting Christian makes another.  You that are weak, and full of doubtings, should go and lean upon those that are strong and have full assurance; and you that have assurance should give the shoulder to those that are weak, and say, Come, and lean upon me, and I will be an help unto you.  You know how it is with the ivy and the vine; the ivy leans upon the oak, and the vine upon the posts or the house-side; the ivy and the vine do not lean one upon another; if the ivy and the vine should come and lean upon one another, what twisting would there be.  Both would fall to the ground: but the ivy leans upon the oak, and the vine upon the posts or the house-side."

"But you say, Alas! all my comforts lie prostrate at the feet of my fears, and now I have no peace at all."

"The more you see Christ walking in the sweet shades of divine love toward poor sinners, the sooner will your faith revive, and your comforts be restored."

Bridge’s argues that for the Christian the darkness that we experience is as the darkness of a cloud after sunrise (conversion) rather than a perpetual darkness of night that follows sunset. The darkness caused by clouds is only momentary and will pass away.

Bridges uses the illustration of the pilgrims passing through the dry valley of Baca in Psalm 84. When they dig pits in the dry valley God would fill them with refreshing rains. Pits may not be dug in the darkness of night but can be dug even in the darkness of a cloud.

"There is a generation of men in the world that have the law of God in their hearts, though they cannot act and work towards God as they would.  These sometimes are in a dry and barren condition, where no water or comfort is; yet if in this condition they dig pits, go to prayer, wait upon God in duty, though they find no comfort springing up in their duty for the present, yet in due time the rain of God’s blessing will fill those dry pits and empty duties, whereby their life shall be like unto a pool of water, and they shall go from strength of grace to strength of grace, until they see the Lord. Know ye, therefore, any man that is in this valley of Baca, where no water is, yet if he can find in his heart to dig pits, to pray, read, hear, meditate, confer, and perform duties; though those duties be empty of comfort for the present, yet the rain of grace and mercy shall fall upon those pits, and he shall go from strength to strength until he appear before the Lord in Glory."

"Whenever you think of any thing which is in itself terrible, or matter of discouragement, be sure that you mingle the consideration thereof with those sweet things which God has given and prescribed to you.  There is nothing terrible but God has joined some comfortable thing with it.  The name of God is terrible. He is called the great and dreadful God.  But to sweeten this, He is called the God of all consolations.  Death is terrible; it is called the king of terrors; but to sweeten this, it is called a sleep.  The day of judgment is terrible; but to sweeten that, our present Advocate, yea, our best Friend, shall be our future judge.  Now if you abstract the terror of any object from the sweetness of it, no wonder if you be much discouraged.  It is our duty to behold things as God presents them, and to take things as God gives them. What God has joined together, no man may put asunder.  If you consider the sweetness of an object or condition, without the sourness of it, then you may grow too wanton: if you consider the terror of an object or condition, without the sweetness of it, then you may be too fearful: but if you think on both together, then you will fear and believe, and believe and fear, and so be kept from discouragement."

"If the very sins of God’s people, through the overruling hand of grace, shall be an occasion of more grace and comfort to them than ever they had in all their lives before; then surely they have no reason to be discouraged in this respect. God never permits His people to fall into any sin but He intends to make that sin an inlet unto further grace and comfort to them." (Bridges gives examples from Scripture).

"A man is to be humbled, and not discouraged … What is the difference between these two? … When a man is humbled, truly humbled, the object of his grief or sorrow or trouble is sin itself, as a dishonour done unto God. The object of discouragement is a man’s own condition … When a man is discouraged, you will always find that his trouble is all about his own condition. Oh, says a discouraged person, I have sinned; I have thus and thus sinned, and therefore my condition is bad, and if my condition be bad now, it will never be better; Lord, what will become of my soul? His trouble is always about his own condition. But when a man is grieved and truly humbled for sin, his trouble is about sin itself, as a dishonour done unto God."

"Now what is the great sin, the fountain sin, the head sin of all your sins, but unbelief; and believe it, he is never far from faith, that is humbled for his unbelief, and he will never be discouraged that is not far from faith. Now therefore, if at any time you find your soul in any sin, then say, This has my unbelief done, I did not think that I had such an unbelieving heart; oh, what an unbelieving heart have I! This, even all this sin, has my unbelief brought forth. The Lord heal my unbelieving heart! A soul grieved for unbelief will never be discouraged too much, nor be humbled too little. In truth he will be humbled for sin, because he is humbled for his unbelief, which is the mother sin; yet he will not be discouraged, because he is humbled for that which causes all discouragements. Lay therefore the weight of your sorrow upon this sin, and you will be truly humbled without unjust discouragement."

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