Friday, October 10, 2008

The following quote is from Thomas Watson. I'll insert a little background if you haven't yet read him - "Few better guides have existed in this or any other area of spiritual experience than Thomas Watson. He was a master of both the Scripture and the human heart, and wrote with a simplicity and directness that keeps his work fresh and powerful for the twenty first century."
If you enjoy the Puritan writings, Watson is a must. The piece below refers to the verse - "Happy is the man whom God correcteth" Job 5:17.

"It may be said, How do afflictions make us happy? We reply that, being sanctified, they bring us nearer to God. The moon in the full is furthest off from the sun; so are many further off from God in the full-moon of prosperity; afflictions bring them nearer to God. The magnet of mercy does not draw us so near to God as the cords of affliction. When Absalom set Joab's corn on fire, then he came running to Absalom. When God sets our worldly comforts on fire, then we run to Him, and make our peace with Him. When the prodigal was pinched with want, then he returned home to his father. When the dove could not find any rest for the sole of her foot, then she flew to the ark. When God brings a deluge of affliction upon us, then we fly to the ark of Christ. Thus affliction makes us happy, in bringing us nearer to God. Faith can make use of the waters of affliction, to swim faster to Christ."

Photo by Ben Goossens

4 comments:

ForHisSake said...

Greetings Fred,

How true this is and one only really knows how true when they experience it first hand. I was walking with the Lord for 7 years and thought I was happy. Then, He allowed me to experience pain so deep that it took a year to be able to function normally again.

It was during that year that I could do nothing more than escape into His Word and spent countless hours in tears crying out to Him.

I grew more in that one year, than I had grown in the 7 years prior. I was so filled with the reality of the beauty of Christ that by the end of that year, the thing that almost killed me was the very thing that I thanked God for.

No one wants to suffer or experience affliction; but, if they understand how God uses it to ween us of the flesh and the world; teach us how sufficient He is for our joy and happiness; and bring us to where He wants us to be; if they understand the beauty that comes out of it; they would almost welcome it.

To endure a season of pain in order to gain a lifetime of joy is one of the remarkable manifestations of God's love for us.

All who have experienced this would never look back and wish they had been spared the afflication in exchange for what God did in and through them as a result of it.

Thomas Watson has always been one of my favorites! Thanks for this post.

In Christ and For His Sake,
D.L.

Mel said...

What? You mean pain is a good thing? What a concept! Very freeing, actually.

I agree with D.L. (Hi, D.L.!)

Looking back over my life, the most painful and darkest times of my life have been the times I have learned to experience God's grace and presence most fully. To be given the gift of absolute joyful trust in Him, no matter what the circumstances of life are, is to be given a priceless, unimaginable gift!

I haven't read Thomas Watson anywhere except on this blog, but I'm looking forward to encountering God in his teachings more as the years pass. :)

Love in Christ to both of you,

Mel

FCB said...

Hi D.L., thanks for your candid comments.
I too have had a similar experience as you, more than one actually. Not always with the comfort during the trial, but the results have always been life altering. I would not give up the lessons nor the spiritual growth for anything, but if there were another way......I could live without the pain. That being said, as I look at the countless numbers who suffer so much more than I have, although, there were times when I felt I was at my absolute limit, but I was not. My children are all still living, I live free of oppression, I live in a land of abundance, so I am thankful, so thankful. And no question, my heart quickens and my sympathies flow without the hinderance they once had.
Many new blessings to you,
Fred


Hi Mel,
I guess the path for all Christians lead us through dark times. There is some comfort in this fraternity isn't there?
I read a quote once that said something like - 'I never trust a man who has no limp'. Refering to Jacob who wrestled with the Angel.
If I have that right, anyway, I understand the sentiment.

I was re-reading some of Watson and there are a number of passages I'll sprinkle over the next month or so that will give you a taste. I hate to leave Brooks, there is so much more of his writings I want to share, but I like to mix it up. Kind of like music, I like to hear a variety.
Warmest regards,
Fred

ForHisSake said...

Great quote--thought I'd pass it along:

“After conversion we need bruising so that reeds may know themselves to be reeds, and not oaks.”

–Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed