Once we know through faith in Christ’s work for us that we are reconciled to God, and that the Creator is now not just our sovereign but our father, we can begin to have a more “sacramental” experience of the world. We see everything as a free gift from Father and a foretaste of the glory and goodness to come in our eternal inheritance. In short, as Miroslav Volf puts it, “Attachment to God amplifies and deepens enjoyment of the world.” It does not diminish it.
“Weep with those who weep” rebukes my tendency to point others to their bright side during struggles, without mourning their battle.
What more could be done than thou hast done!
Open for me the wondrous volumes of truth in his, ‘It is finished’.
Valley of Vision, 57
A challenging thought from The Valley of Vision:
Let me not be at my own disposal,
But rejoice that I am under the care of one who is too wise to err,
Too kind to injure,
Too tender to crush.
May I scandalize none by my temper and conduct,
But recommend and endear Christ to all around,
Bestow good on every one as circumstances permit,
And decline no opportunity of usefulness.
Valley of vision, 43
Paul said it in this way,
”For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:8-10).
If what you are believing increases your self-image, it isn’t the gospel.
>According to Scripture, God deliberately designed the gospel in such a way so as to strip me of pride and leave me without any grounds for boasting in myself whatsoever (Eph 2; 1 Cor 1). This is actually a wonderful mercy from God, for pride is at the root of all my sin. Pride produced the first sin in the Garden (Gen 3), and pride always precedes every sinful stumbling in my life (Prov 16:18). Therefore, if I am to experience deliverance from sin, I must be delivered from the pride that produces it. Thankfully, the gospel is engineered to accomplish this deliverance.
Milton Vincent, Gospel Primer, 27
Verse links to @biblegateway
A friend shared this with me from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening:
“The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power.”
— Nahum 1:3
…Dear reader, what is your state this evening? Can you by humble faith look to Jesus, and say, “My substitute, thou art my rock, my trust”? Then, beloved, be not afraid of God’s power; for by faith you have fled to Christ for refuge, the power of God need no more terrify you, than the shield and sword of the warrior need terrify those whom he loves. Rather rejoice that he who is “great in power” is your Father and Friend.
Here is a quotation from John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” which I found thought provoking:
Hon. But what should be the reason that such a good man should be all his days so much in the dark?
Great-heart. There are two sorts of reasons for it. One is, the wise God will have it so, some must pipe and some must weep. Now Mr. Fearing was one that played upon this Base; he and his fellows sound the sackbut, whose notes are more doleful than the notes of other Musick are; though indeed some say the Base is the Ground of Musick. And for my part I care not at all for that profession that begins not in heaviness of mind. The first string that the Musician usually touches is the Base, when he intends to put all in tune. God also plays upon this string first, when he sets the soul in tune for himself. Only here was the imperfection of Mr. Fearing, he could play upon no other Musick but this, till towards his latter end. I make bold to talk thus metaphorically, for the ripening of the Wits of young Readers; and because in the Book of the Revelations, the saved are compared to a company of Musicians that play upon their Trumpets and Harps, and sing their Songs before the Throne.
When the Great Musician chooses to bring music to the dead soul, he begins first by playing the mournful notes. When those around me are hurting and struggling, perhaps that is God beginning a great symphony in their lives.