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.
What a great post Christina! Fixing our eyes on Christ makes everything we’re called to bear in this life so much easier than if we we’re doing it on our own. It doesn’t take away the difficulty but it puts our suffering in such beautiful perspective. 🙂
Thanks Louis! You are right. The cross might not be removed (at least not right away) but by His grace, our suffering is put in right perspective and Christ is all and everything else is less — and even nothing!
In the unseen realm, angels wrestled for what seemed like a lifetime in earthly years; the Prince of Brooklyn vs. the Prince of Long Island. Thunder, lightening, thick dense fog, unmerciful sleet, mere manifestations of this heavenly tussle, as the forces of light and good battled arduously with the warriors of the darkest evil. Yet today, in the realm where no earthly eye could see, Good put forth a powerful earth shaking strike, crushing all hellish schemes with one cataclysmic blow. Ultimate victory is ours. The saints rejoice triumphant; the demons howl in terror. The sun now shines with an assured and happy face. The strategems of darkness are foiled.
How do we know? What manifestation of goodness tells us this? How is this not mere speculation on our part?
Oh that’s easy. Can’t you see? Christina is blogging again! 🙂
Welcome back. We’ve all missed you.
Laughing very loud over here!
“crushing all hellish schemes with one cataclysmic blow”
“The saints rejoice triumphant; the demons howl in terror”
“The strategems of darkness are foiled.”
Ummmm…well, a slight exaggeration but truly made me laugh!
Thank you so much John! It’s very nice to back!
So glad your blogging again, Christina!!! I love the new look and I love this work by Thomas Brooks.
Thanks Persis! I am happy to be back and I will be making my way to your place in the near future!
The new look is just fabulous…. and this is a great post! Better than we deserve for sure…. God is soooo Good! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Shaan! 🙂
Patricia (Pollywog Creek) says
Lovely….just like you, my sister. =)
Thank you Patricia — my favorite Biker Chick! LOL!
Petra Hefner says
Hi, friend. So glad to see you back in bloggie land! I am reading Thomas Brooks’ The Mute Christian and Piper’s The Hidden Smile Of God, and this is an excellent post reflecting the truth of God’s mercy, awesome grace, and sanctifying providence. You’re right to remind us also that there are no purely innocent men or women. Yet, how merciful is our God! He has sent His sinless Son to suffer the ultimate pain without complaint!
Hello dear Petra,
Sounds like an excellent combination — Brooks & Piper! Thanks for the warm welcome back & for checking in on me regularly while I was on my little hiatus. 🙂
Deejay O'Flaherty says
Great post!! Brooks really knew how to minister to the afflicted saints.
Glad to see your blog back–ME-anie thinks she is responsible for the reconstruction. 😉
Me-anie IS in part responsible. I told you Deejay…she put in a call on my behalf and gave her 2 cents! LOL!
Thank you dear friend for the welcome back to the blogosphere but I’m thankful to have been in touch with you all along! 🙂
Nice to see that you are back and I like the new look too. I hope you have had a great summer. It has been a hot summer here in florida, can not wait for a little cool weather to come our way. Video taping more recipes for the cooking show on You Tube and just amazed on how much it is growing. God is Good.
It’s so great to hear from you Elba! I had a very nice summer — so hard to believe that it’s already over! I haven’t visited your channel in a while so I look forward to seeing what you have cooking in that amazing kitchen of yours! I’m also delighted but not at all surprised to learn that you are growing. What can I say? You are one talented girl in the kitchen!
I’m so happy you are back! That’s truly wonderful. Your blog looks fabulous! This work from Thomas Brooks is great! Was part of this on your FB recently? It seemed so familiar as I read it.
PS. I am doing a book give-a-way as well! Be sure to stop by 🙂
Thank you Hollie! If i’m not mistaken the last time you visited this blog you were a single gal! Now, you are Mrs. Joshua Dermer! NICE!
Thank you for the warm welcome back and I did go ahead and enter your generous giveaway! I’m glad you decided to keep your blog. I too considered shutting down given all of my responsibilities and the all consuming nature that blogging can assume but, like you, I’m gonna stay a it and prayerfully navigate the waters of the internet! LOL!
So glad to see you back, Christina!
Your name alone brings a smile to my face! I’ve missed you dear friend! Thank you for the welcome back and I’ll be visiting your place in the near future too!
Becky@Daily On My Way To Heaven says
Christina, Estoy muy feliz de que estás escibiendo otra vez!
What a joy it is to have you as a friend.
Thank for this book recommendation and quotes; His mercy never ceases to amaze me!
Un abrazo fuerte!