Saturday, 28 May 2016

An ever-present help in trouble

An ever-present help in trouble

(Thomas Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

"But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour" Isaiah 43:1-3 

This divine presence is the greatest good in the world.

The people of the Lord should be very thankful for His presence with them in their greatest troubles and deepest distresses. O Sirs! this divine presence is a great mercy.
It is a special mercy, it is a distinguishing mercy.
It is a big-bellied mercy — which has many mercies in its womb.
It is a mercy-greatening mercy; it greatens all the mercies we enjoy.
It is a mercy-sweetening mercy; it sweetens health, strength, riches, honours, trade, relations, etc.

It is a soul-mercy, a mercy...
  which reaches the soul,
  which cheers the soul,
  which lifts up the soul,
  which quiets the soul,
  which satisfies the soul, and
  which will go to Heaven with the soul.

Will you not be thankful for such a mercy? Will you be thankful for temporal mercies — and will you not be thankful for spiritual mercies? To enjoy the presence of God when we most need it, is a mercy which deserves perpetual praises. It is the greatest mercy in this world, to enjoy the gracious presence of God in our great troubles and desperate dangers. Therefore be much in blessing God, and in admiring God — for His presence with you in a dark and trying day.

"There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." Joshua 1:5

"The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." Psalm 46:7

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

Sunday, 22 May 2016

O, it was one word that I saw in your book which troubles me!

O, it was one word that I saw in your book which troubles me!
(George Burder, "Heaven and Hell!")

"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Matthew 25:46

The very word ETERNITY ought to fix our attention on this great subject! O that it may have as good an effect upon you, as it had upon the following lady:

A lady, who was fond of gaiety, spent the whole afternoon and evening at a card party and other vain amusements. Returning home late at night, she found her maid diligently reading a religious book. Happening to look over her shoulder, she saw what it was, and said: "Poor melancholy soul, why do you sit here so long poring over your book?"

After this she retired to bed, but could not sleep — she lay sighing and weeping for several hours. Being repeatedly asked by her maid what was the matter, she burst into tears and said, "O, it was one word that I saw in your book which troubles me — there I saw the word ETERNITY!"

O that we could impress upon you a lasting idea of Eternity!

Suppose all the vast ocean to be distilled by single drops, and a thousand years to pass between every drop — how many millions of years would it take to empty it.

Suppose the whole world to be made up of grains of sand, and one grain only to be taken away in a thousand years — how many millions of years would it take to remove the whole? We cannot count how long — yet we suppose it may be done in a most immense length of time.

Suppose it done. Suppose the ocean emptied, drop by drop. Suppose the globe reduced, grain by grain, to the last sand. But would eternity be lessened? No, not at all. It is a whole eternity still — and the torments of the damned would be as far from an end, as when they began!

A minute bears some proportion to a million years — but millions of millions of years bear no proportion to eternity.

O how would the damned in Hell rejoice, if ten thousand years might finish their miseries! But it is for ETERNITY! Do you startle at the word? It is Christ's word. Christ says in the text, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:"

Saturday, 14 May 2016

All the Hell that you shall ever have!

All the Hell that you shall ever have!

("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod" or, "The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes" by Thomas Brooks, 1659)

Consider Christian, that all your...
  trials and troubles,
  calamities and miseries,
  crosses and losses,
which you meet with in this world — is all the Hell that you shall ever have!

Here and now, you have your Hell.
Hereafter, you shall have your Heaven!

This life is the worst of your condition — the best is yet to come!

Lazarus had his Hell first — and his Heaven last.
Dives had his Heaven first — and his Hell at last.

You have all your pangs, and pains, and throes here — that ever you shall have!
Your ease, and rest, and pleasure — is yet to come.

Here you have all your bitters — your sweets are yet to come!

Here you have your sorrows — your joys are yet to come.

Here you have all your winter nights — your summer days are yet to come!

Here you have your evil things — your good things are yet to come.

Death will put an end to all your sins — and to all your sufferings!

Death will be an inlet to those joys, delights, and comforts — which shall never have an end!

Who can seriously meditate upon this, and not be silent under God's most smarting rod?

Sunday, 8 May 2016

It takes a long and painful process to purge it out!

It takes a long and painful process to purge it out!
(James Smith, "The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Saviour’s Grace Displayed!")

"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10 

The love of Jesus will not preserve His people from trials — but rather, assures them of trials! All whom He loves — He chastens! He has a furnace to purge our dross, and refine our souls. His Word and the Spirit reveal to us our defilement and impurity — and His grace and providence co-operate to remove them. "I am the Lord God, who sanctifies you."

It is divine love which...
  prepares the furnace,
  kindles the flame,
  brings the Christian into it,
  superintends the whole process, and
  brings him out as gold, seven times purified!
"From all your filthiness and from all your idols, I will cleanse you!" He cleanses them in the laver of the Word by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit. But He also cleanses them by a variety of afflictive dispensations, through which He causes them to pass.

Our sin calls for trials — His love sends them!

Our nature repines at trials — but grace submits to them!

Our flesh is enraged at trials — but the Spirit sanctifies them to our good, and our Saviour’s glory.

He makes His people choice ones — in the "furnace of affliction!" He says, "I will put you into the fire — and will purely purge away your dross."

Believer, never repine at your trials, nor be over-anxious for their removal. They are appointed by Jesus as your Purifier — and are choice blessings in disguise!

Seek their sanctification,
wrestle with God that you may see His love in every stroke, and
look to Jesus that you may enjoy His presence when passing through the flame!

Nothing can hurt you — while Jesus is near you; and He is never nearer to you — than when you are in the furnace! For He sits right there as the Refiner...
  watching the process,
  regulating the heat, and
  waiting to effect a gracious deliverance — when the ends of His love are answered.

He is only preparing you for fresh manifestations of His glory — and fitting you for larger communications of His love.

In the furnace, you will lose nothing that is worth keeping — but you will obtain what is truly valuable!

The flesh and the soul need constant cleansings — for corruption is so deeply rooted in our nature, that it takes a long and painful process to purge it out! But in reference to the furnace, your Lord says, "The Lord did this to purge Israel's wickedness, to take away all her sin!"