Sunday, October 15, 2006

Need a lift?

The following posts are from the book "A Lifting Up For The Downcast" by William Bridge.
I have picked out a few paragraphs to give the flavor of the author. William Bridge preached these sermons in 1648, it deals with believers suffering from spiritual depression, and Bridge manifests great inshight into the causes of saints discouragement. He is a true physiscian of the soul. Written in the kings English, if you're not used to it, is somewhat more difficult to follow, but worth it.

“Sin gains not, but is a loser by every fall of the godly. And if you look into the Scripture, you will observe that when the people of God fall, usually they fail in that grace wherein they most excel. Wherein they did most excel, therein they did most miscarry. Abraham did most excel in faith, and therein he did most miscarry. Moses did most excel in meekness, and therein he did most miscarry; we read of no other sin concerning Moses but his anger. Job did most excel in patience, and therein did he most miscarry. Peter did most excel in zeal and resolution for Christ – “Though all the world forsake thee, yet will not I” – and therein he did most miscarry, denying Christ at the voice of a damsel. I say, you will observe this, that the saints fell and failed in that grace wherein they did most excel; and they did most excel wherein they did most miscarry.
What is the reason of this, but because the Lord, by the overruling hand of His grace, did make their very miscarriages, inlets and occasions to their further grace and holiness. God has a great revenue from the very infirmities of His people. He never permits any of His people to fall into any sin, but He hath a design by that fall to break the back of that sin they do fall into. Now, then, have the saints and people of God any reason to be discouraged in this respect?”

3 comments:

HAINAngel2000 said...

Fred, Now I like this one!!! This is so true in my own walk but in the walk of most of us. Its so true that the very things we excel in is also our own weekness or our own stumbling block for say.
Very good!!!
Love it Mary

Donna said...

I think I understand that William is trying to tell us not to be discouraged in our failures because they are our strengths tested, but I see it differently.

But wouldn't you say that we fail in our strengths because we begin to trust in them too much and not enough in God and then pride comes in? With Moses, that is what happened and again with Job. They became 'comfortable' with the gifts of prosperity or miracles and took them as their own. Jonah became angry with God when He took the vine that was shading him. God then stated, "you don't have a right to be angry with me, I gave you that vine. You did not labor for it or tend it" We fail in our strengths because we claim them as ours when in actuality they are Gods. And then I believe God lets us stumble in that strength to prove that without Him, we wouldn't have it in the first place. Does this make sense?

FCB said...

Hi Mary and Donna,
this is a evocative quote and he really doesn't give a reason why we tend to stumble in the very areas we excel in, but what you mentioned Donna makes sense to me.
There may be other reasons that we tend to fall in those areas as well. What would they be?
Maybe if one is very compassionate, they sometimes can be indignant to those who are not.
I would love to list a dozen other ways but I can't think of any now, maybe someone else will think of other applications?
I especially like the conclusion he comes too, sin is not the victor, but rather our very failings, as well as our strengths, God uses to bring us to greater holiness. Seeing how I have many failings, this brings great comfort to me.
I'm glad you both like the post.
Fred