Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Incomparable Comfort!

From this source (the Scriptures) have the saints fetched their cordials when fainting under the rod. One word of God can do more than ten thousand words of men to relieve a distressed soul. If Providence has at any time directed you to such promises as either assure you that the Lord will be with you in trouble, (Ps. 91:15) or that encourage you from inward peace to bear cheerfully outward burdens, (John 16: 33) or satisfy you of God's tenderness and moderation in His dealings with you, (Isa. 27:8) or that you shall reap blessed fruits from them, (Rom. 8:28) or that make clear your interest in God and His love under your afflictions, (2 Sam. 7:14) O what ease and relief ensues and how light is your burden compared with what it was before!


Set the faithfulness of the Lord before you under the saddest providences. So did David, (Ps. 119:75). This is according to His covenant faithfulness, (Ps. 89:32). Hence it is that the Lord will not withhold a rod when need requires it, (1Pet. 1:6). Nor will He forsake His people under the rod when He inflicts it, (2 Cor. 4:9).
O what quietness this will breed! I see my God will not lose my heart, if a rod can prevent it. He would rather hear me groan here than howl hereafter. His love is judicious, not fond. He consults my good rather than my ease.
Eye the all-sufficiency of God in the day of affliction. See enough in Him still, whatever is gone... O Christians, cannot you make up any loss this way? Cannot you see more in God than in any or all the creature-comforts you have lost?
- John Flavel, the Mystery of Providence.

What incomparable comfort can be found in God when we know Him through His Word! Once a foundation is laid, never to be shaken by circumstances, we can go through the severest storms and know that He is yet faithful. Yet we must first, brick by brick, with the aide and illumination of the Holy Spirit, lay that foundation by making time for Scripture. Reading it, meditating upon it, memorizing it and seeking application of it in our lives. If we could see the trials ahead which God has planned beforehand for our growth, we would certainly put a higher priority on time in the Word.

In His wisdom, God has not given us eyes to see what lies ahead. Instead, He has given us His Word, and the Holy Spirit to illumine that Word to our hearts, that we may better know Him, and build our trust on that sure foundation. If we could see the storms to which our paths lead, we may try any number of means for escape, forsaking our Refuge, our Rock, our high Tower. The storms will come, yet our God orders them all for our good and His glory.

Praise the Lord.

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