Hello everyone! I am back from my little blogging hiatus! As you can see, Heavenly Springs received a much-needed face lift during my time away and I, for one, couldn’t be happier with the results. A very special thank you to my dear brother and compadre in the Reformation, David Lopez, who despite his busy schedule found time to make Heavenly Springs a beautiful blog!
I wasn’t planning on returning quite yet as we’re still ironing out a few technical, and design issues but after reading the words of this great saint on the matter of patience in the face of affliction, I made the decision to post. I also wanted to return with a special book giveaway. That is still in the pipeline so please stay tuned!
In his book, The Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod, the lowly but great English Puritan and preacher, Thomas Brooks, reflects upon his own experience of grace in the midst of great trial and distress. He calls suffering saints to accept God’s seemingly harsh dealings with them quietly and with calmness of soul. “The Lord is in his Holy Temple: Let all the Earth keep silence before him,” (Habakkuk 2.20)
The thoughts conveyed in the excerpt below express an understanding of God’s grace that can only be known when we see our suffering in light of our own depravity. While it is true that many of us suffer in this fallen world as innocent parties, it is also true that none of us, before the Lord, stand as innocent men and women.
When we are tempted to push back on the sad and darker providences of life — when we suffer injustice as a consequence of someone else’s sin — when our hearts cry out, “Lord, I don’t deserve this!”, let us be quick to repent and praise God for his tender mercies that are all found in Jesus Christ. For it was he who stood in our place and drank the full cup of God’s wrath so that we might stand forgiven and fully accepted in the sight of God.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”(2 Corinthians 5:21)
Now that’s mercy!
“To move you to silence under your sorest and your sharpest trials, consider, that you have deserved greater and heavier afflictions than those you are under, Lam. 3:39 and Mic. 7:7-9.3
Has God taken away one mercy? You have deserved to be stripped of all.
Has he taken away the delight of your eyes? He might have taken away the delight of your soul.
Are you under outward wants? You have deserved to be under outward and inward together.
Are you cast upon a sick-bed? You have deserved a bed in hell.
Are you under that ache and that pain? You have deserved to be under all aches and pains at once.
Has God chastised you with whips? You have deserved to be chastised with scorpions.
Are you fallen from the highest pinnacle of honor to be the scorn and contempt of men? You have deserved to be scorned and contemned by God and angels.
Are you under a severe whipping? You have deserved an utter damning.
Ah Christian, let but your eyes be fixed upon your demerits and your hands will be quickly upon your mouths; whatever is less than a final separation from God, whatever is less than hell, is mercy; and therefore you have cause to be silent under the sharpest dealings of God with you.”
You can read the entire work here.