Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category
The Christian’s hope is further bolstered by knowing that our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is “upholding all things by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3). Owen wrote, “Our Lord Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, hath the weight of the whole creation upon his hand, and disposeth of it by his power and wisdom. Such is the nature and condition of the universe, that it could not subsist a moment, nor could anything in it act regularly unto its appointed end, without the continual support, guidance, influence, and disposal of the Son of God.”
Therefore, Sedgwick said, we are not to vex our minds with anxiety about our condition in this world (Matt. 6:28; 1 Peter 5:7; Phil. 4:5–6). Perhaps the means by which we hoped to attain our goals seem impotent. But we must remember that the means are but pipes, whereas God is the fountain; they are mere instruments in His hands. It is not the doctor who heals you, but God who heals you through the doctor. God often works through unlikely means to draw our trust away from what we tend to depend upon and to show us that our blessings truly are gifts from the sovereign God. (Emphasis added)
Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark (2012-10-14). A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Kindle Locations 6790-6800). Kindle Edition.
In the same way, you might go through crosses and losses and cancer and sickness and family trouble and you might be treated unfairly and you might have your name smeared, but the good news is that you are going to go through all of that, get to Heaven and say, “It was WORTH IT!” No one will ever say, “I went through that for THIS? The message of the Christian life is not you become a believer and then it’s champagne and roses after that. The message is, you become a believer, and you will have to swim upstream against the current of the world. It will be hard, it will be painful, but it is worth it!
Pastor Jason Meyer, He Will Be a Risen King! Victorious Over the Last Enemy, delivered December 15, 2012.
His entire sermon was very helpful. But if you only have ten minutes, go to 36:36 on this sermon, and let his closing remarks on interpreting pain make your heart soar at the incredible goodness and mercy – and future hope we have – in Jesus Christ, including these final words:
If you are justified, you are as good as glorified because there is no fall out in this “golden chain” of God’s grace. No one can snatch you out of your Father’s hand. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how strong your grip is on your father’s hand. It matters how strong your Father’s grip is on your hand. We rest in the glorious knowledge of his resurrection.
I call you to remember the Resurrection. Look at the pain, the shame, and the injustice in the face and say, “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death. Come awake, come awake, come and rise up from the grave. O death where is your sting. O grave where is your victory. O church, come stand in the light the glory of God has defeated the night! The cross gives you a place to take the pain—the Resurrection points to a time when God will take all the pain and injustice and make it stop because he will make it right.
Do not think, because you experience adversity, that the hand of the Lord is shortened. It is not our prosperity but our holiness that he seeks with all his heart. And to that end, he rules the whole world. As Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”
He is a big God for little people, and we have great cause to rejoice that, unbeknownst to them, all the kings and presidents and premiers and chancellors of the world follow the sovereign decrees of our Father in heaven, that we, the children, might be conformed to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ.
John Piper, Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent, p. 8.
This is a great set of short readings for every day of Advent and is available for free download at Desiring God. You can still make this season of Advent special in your family! I highly recommend it.
Beeke’s and Jones’ conclusion to their chapter on providence was just too good not to share in its entirety:
The Puritan writings on providence are easy to read, yet they are deeply thought provoking. They are biblically focused, yet they throb with a sense of God’s ongoing activity. They are rigorously Reformed, yet they are wonderfully sensitive to human pain. They were written for people living in a time of social, political, and religious upheaval in the seventeenth century. They were written for people who knew a great deal of the angst that we moderns often mistakenly view as peculiarly modern or even postmodern. The Puritan writings also apply to people in the twenty-first century who suffer massive change. More than that, they spell out clearly some biblical principles that Christians today desperately need to hear:
• God is in control of His universe.
• God is working out His perfect purposes, also in my life.
• God is not my servant.
• God’s ways are far more mysterious and wonderful than I can understand.
• God is always good; I can always trust Him.
• God’s timetable is not the same as mine.
• God is far more interested in what I become than in what I do.
• Freedom from suffering is not promised in the Christian gospel.
• Suffering is an integral part of the Christian life.
• God works through suffering to fulfill His purposes in me.
• God’s purposes, not mine, are what bring Him glory.
• God enables me to read His providences through the lens of His Word.
• I have few greater pleasures than tracing the wonders of God’s ways.
No wonder, then, that Sedgwick admonishes us with the words of Psalm 37:5: “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” The God of the Bible, the God of sovereign providence, He alone is worthy of such trust.
Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark (2012-10-14). A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Kindle Location 6876-6894). Kindle Edition.
On Friday Tim Keller tweeted a recommendation by Pastor John for a fabulous book significantly discounted at Amazon, which I bought.
As is my habit, I looked over the table of contents and went to a chapter of interest rather than start at the beginning. I could have quoted the entire chapter on providence, it was that good and helpful:
But what are we to do when the providences of God seem to conflict with His promises?
First, we must learn how to resist discouragement. God is teaching us patience. It may not yet be God’s time to act, or He may be delaying to increase our appetite for the blessing for which we long.
What are we to do?
We must remember that He is bringing about a greater blessing: our willingness to depend entirely on God and His good pleasure.
Our loving Father delights to come to us when we are at the end of our own resources. Perhaps we are not yet ready to receive the blessing. If all His mercies are of grace and we do not deserve them, we must learn to wait for them.
Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark (2012-10-14). A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Kindle Locations 6849-6853). Kindle Edition.