Remembering Afflictions

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.

  • Lamentations 3:19-26

“The first is the believer who is in deep trouble.  This is not an unusual circumstance for an heir of glory.  A Christian is seldom at ease for very long.  The believer in Jesus Christ inherits the kingdom through much tribulation.  In the third chapter of Lamentations, you will observe a list of matters that memory brought before the mind of Jeremiah, and which gave him comfort.  First is the fact that however deep our present affliction is, it is by the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed (v. 22).  This is a low beginning, but when a very weak man is at the bottom of a pyramid, you must not give him a steep step at first, if he is ever going to climb it.  Give him only a small stone to step on the first time, and when he gets more strength, then he will be able to take a greater stride.”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, Finding Power in Life’s Storms

God provides when you seek Him.  In a time of despair, I picked up Spurgeon’s book, Finding Power in Life’s Storms, simply the next book in the queue that had been established weeks before, long before the despair.  By the way, it was followed in the queue by Søren Kierkegaard’s book, The Sickness unto Death, another book about despair.  God answers our heartfelt questions in time of need if we seek Him.  God is the power in life’s storms.  Oops, spoiler alert, if you hadn’t read the book.

I have mentioned, in past posts, those who are content with getting inside the pearly gates before the gates are closed.  They think that they do not need to grow as a Christian.  They missed the point that Jesus wants to have a relationship with each of us.  They may even think that Satan only attacks the front runners.  If they sneak around in the background, they can enter Heaven without being noticed, or so they think.

But Satan does notice.  The troubles in their lives are more than they can bear.  In anguish, they cry out for God to hear them.  In C. S. Lewis’ book, Letters to Malcolm, he writes that he thinks God’s response might be that He has been there all day ready to listen, but where were we?  Obviously, we were avoiding God and hiding in the shadows, so that we could sneak into Heaven.

But don’t you see the fallacy?  We deny God, denying the source of power to defeat Satan in our lives, in order to go unnoticed.  I am often baffled with motorists on the highway.  They drive 20-30 mph over the speed limit until they see a policeman and then they drive 10-15 mph under the speed limit.  The policeman knows what the drop in speed means, nothing but guilt.  It is too bad that the police cannot hand out guilt tickets.

Those, who Spurgeon refers to as being in deep trouble, cannot hide from Satan.  Guilt is one of Satan’s greatest weapons.  He definitely recognizes it.

More importantly, God notices.  He still loves.  He still forgives, but the believer in deep trouble has a storehouse of blessings, out of reach and collecting dust.  If only, he or she could seek Jesus and follow Him.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

2 Comments

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  1. I haven’t read much Spurgeon, but I’m s big fan of Kierkegaard, and “The Sickness Unto Death” is Captain Kierk at his best. J.

    Liked by 1 person

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