Sickness is a Mercy
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes!” Psalm 119:71
Health is a blessing and a great mercy, enabling us to relish the comforts of life, and to be useful in our generation. But sickness is a greater mercy to the children of God, for it shall be sanctified to wean us more from the present world, to raise our thoughts and desires heavenward, to quicken us to prayer, and to give us more opportunity of knowing the sweetness and suitableness of the promises, and the power and wisdom of a promise-performing God!
Troubles have many uses–when the Lord is pleased to work by them for the good of His children. They are necessary, because we would miss the meaning and comfort of a great part of the Bible without them! I hope the Lord blesses you both with a measure of submission to His will, confidence in His love–and then, with respect to other things you will say, “All is well!”
“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your Word!” Psalm 119:67
“I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” Psalm 119:75
- John Newton
I thought I would also attach a link to Brian Long’s message from Wednesday night. Goes well with the said above. Brother Brian Long, Pastor of Barnsdall Cornerstone Church, 5.1.2013 message.
We Must Give Time to Knowing God
Progress in the Christian life is exactly equal to the growing knowledge we gain of the triune God in personal experience. And such experience requires
a whole life devoted to it and plenty of time spent at the holy task of cultivating our knowledge of God. God can be known satisfactorily only as we devote time to Him.
A thousand distractions would woo us away from thoughts of God, but if we are wise, we will sternly put them from us and make room for the King and
take time to entertain Him. Some things may be neglected with little loss to the spiritual life. But to neglect communion with God is to hurt ourselves where
we cannot afford it. God will respond to our efforts to know Him. The Bible tells us how, but it is altogether a matter of how much determination we bring to
the holy task.
- A. W. Tozer
He is our wall of fire.
Zec 2:5 And I, says Jehovah, will be to her a wall of fire all around, and will be the glory in her midst.
At the particular time that this was written, Jerusalem was a city without a wall. She was naked and vulnerable, and open to attack. In those days, a city without a wall would be like an army without guns. Now , with broken down walls, God Himself would be a wall of fire to them. In these last days, the remnant people of God will be a people without walls. The conventional wisdom of the past will no longer apply. Not unlike the City of Jerusalem of that day, God’s remnant people will be a broken people, a vulnerable people, and a people without the traditional protection of the Church. They will seem lonely and isolated. Yet, when God brings this group of people together, He will be their wall. It will not be a wall that is built by human hands. Consider why Jerusalem was in such a position when the above Scripture was written. Their wall, built by human hands, had been breached, undermined, overcome, tore down and ultimately destroyed. If we are God’s remnant people, we will be a people that has been breached, undermined, our brokenness will be apparent, we will seek God will all of our heart. In our brokenness, in our hunger and because of our driving thirst for the things of God and for His presence, we will seek Him with all of our hearts and we will become fully dependent upon Him. When we seek Him in this way, He will be found by us. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. His presence is our wall of fire! So, we will be a people without walls around our hearts. Walls are designed to contain, to keep out, to mark boundaries, to hide behind. We will not be a people who will be able to contain the things of God. As He pours out His latter rain upon us and it enlarges our capacity to receive (If I am a vessel that wants to be filled, I must first be emptied to make room for that which I seek), then we will freely give what has been given to us. We will love more and we will forgive more and we will do good to those who miss-treat us. And as we do all that, the world will hate us more and more. It’s ironic that the more love that will be poured out into a dying and ever darkening world, the more the world will reject it. When Jesus walked the earth in all His love and mercy, He was ultimately rejected by a multitude who at first received Him. As with the Lord, so it will be with His children. Yet, no matter, love will conquer evil, the gates of hell shall not prevail against Gods remnant children. Their love shall overcome evil even as it seeks to destroy them.
(via: A Call to the Remnant: http://acalltotheremnant.com/2013/03/28/he-is-our-wall-of-fire/)
“Oh how many have been coached to hell in the chariots of earth pleasures, while others have been whipped to heaven by the rod of affliction.” John Flavel
Taken from, Suffering and Sovereignty -John Flavel and the Puritans on Afflictive Suffering, pg 28.