Tag Archive | Comfort

Wrestle, Fight, Go Forward

Samuel Rutherford (Letters, pp. 34, 35):

I have heard your Ladyship complain of deadness, and want of the bestirring power of the life of God. But courage! He who walked in the garden, and made a noise that made Adam hear His voice, will also at some times walk in your soul, and make you hear a more sweet word. Yet, ye will not always hear the noise and the din of His feet, when He walketh. Ye are, at such a time, like Jacob mourning at the supposed death of Joseph, when Joseph was living. The new creature, the image of the second Adam, is living in you; and yet ye are mourning at the supposed death of the life of Christ in you. Ephraim is bemoaning and mourning (Jer. 31.18), when he thinketh God is far off and heareth not; and yet God is like the bridegroom (Song 2.9), standing only behind a thin wall and laying to His ear; for He saith Himself, “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself.” I have good confidence, Madam, that Christ Jesus, whom your soul through forests and mountains is seeking, is within you. And yet I speak not this to lay a pillow under your head, or to dissuade you from a holy fear of the loss of your Christ, or of provoking and “stirring up the Beloved before He please,” by sin. I know, in spiritual confidence, the devil will come in, as in all other good works, and cry “Half mine;” and so endeavour to bring you under a fearful sleep, till He whom your soul loveth be departed from the door, and have left off knocking. And, therefore, here the Spirit of God must hold your soul’s feet in the golden mid-line, betwixt confident resting in the arms of Christ, and presumptuous and drowsy sleeping in the bed of fleshly security. Therefore, worthy lady, so count little of yourself, because of your own wretchedness and sinful drowsiness, that ye count not also little of God, in the course of His unchangeable mercy. For there be many Christians most like unto young sailors, who think the shore and the whole land doth move, when the ship and they themselves are moved; just so, not a few do imagine that God moveth and saileth and changeth places, because their giddy souls are under sail, and subject to alteration, to ebbing and flowing. But “the foundation of the Lord abideth sure.” God knoweth that ye are His own. Wrestle, fight, go forward, watch, fear, believe, pray; and then ye have all the infallible symptoms of one of the elect of Christ within you.​

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/for-those-of-us-that-can-be-too-hard-on-ourselves.95146/, Comment 7


A Sweet and Constant Travelling

Andrew Gray (Great and Precious Promises, pp. 151, 152):

O! if Christians knew to judge of themselves, by what they are in Christ, and not by what they are in themselves, that with one eye they might look to themselves, and cry out, “I am undone,” and with another look to Christ, and cry out, “There is hope in Israel concerning me.” That is, with one eye they might look to themselves, and blush, and with another eye they might look to Christ, and hope. That with one eye they might look to themselves, and weep, and with another eye they might look to Christ, and rejoice. O Christian! wilt thou judge always of thy self, by what thou art in Christ, and not by what thou art in thy self: Yea, I would say this to thee by the way, when thou meetest with tentations that put thee to dispute thy interest, do but send them to Christ to get an answer and say, “O precious Christ, answer this tentation.” For this is Christ’s way with the soul. The Law must bring us back to Christ, and Christ must send us back to the Law, and deliver us over to it, not to the condemning power of it as before, but the directing and guiding power of it as a rule of holiness: So that a Christians’ whole life must be a sweet and constant travelling between Christ and the Law. When thou hast broken the Law, flee unto Christ to take away guilt, and when thou hast closed with Christ, come running out again in his strength, to perform the Law.

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/for-those-of-us-that-can-be-too-hard-on-ourselves.95146/, Comment 7

Not Dispute, But Believe

Andrew Gray (Great and Precious Promises, pp. 26, 27):

Since Christ is the Fountain and Original of the Promises, be much in the application of the promises. And here I shall speak a little upon these three things. 1. A little unto the evidences and marks of those that have a right to apply the promises, and shall only name unto these few. The first is, To be a person under convictions of sensible need and necessity of such a promise; have ye convictions of such a necessity? Then from that ye may infer, “I have a right to the promises, and are not these glad tidings? I know there are some that are under such conviction of their sins, that they think it boldness to apply the promises. But I would say this unto you, that if ye were under sensible convictions of your lostness, ye would give a world for an hair of a promise whereby to hang. Believe it, the exercise of misbelief is never at its height, till ye would be content to dig through the earth to get a promise; and till we were at that, that our souls would pursue after them from the one end of the world to the other. And for the ground of this assertion, that sensible necessity giveth a right to the promises; if ye will look to these great promises of the everlasting covenant, are they not given to that Christian that is under a need [( Isa. 55.13* and Matt. 11.28)], where the great promise of the Gospel is given out, and the invitation of Jesus Christ is unto these that are weary and heavy laden. Christ would account it an excellent courtesy, that ye should not dispute, but believe; and that ye would look upon your necessities, as his call to believe the promises.​

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/for-those-of-us-that-can-be-too-hard-on-ourselves.95146/, Comment 7 (Poster added this note: *I think, perhaps, Mr. Gray may have meant Isaiah 55.1-3, although the use of v.13 is certainly not out of line​)

Keep Hope at the Bottom of all Your Troubles

John Flavel (The Method of Grace, p. 154):

Let all that are under inward troubles for sin, take heed of drawing desperate conclusions against themselves, and the final state of their own souls. Though your case be sad, it is not desperate; though the night be troublesome and tedious, keep on in the way to Christ, and light will spring up. To mourn for sin is your duty; to conclude there is no hope for you in Christ, is your sin. You have wronged God enough already, do not add a further and greater abuse to all the rest, by an absolute despair of mercy. It was sin formerly to presume beyond any promise, it is your sin now to despair against many commands. I would say as the apostle in another case, I would not have you mourn as men that have no hope: your condition is sad as it is, but yet it is much better than once it was. You were once fully of sin and void of sense, now you have the sense of sin, which is no small mercy. You were once quite out of the way and method of mercy, now you are in that very path wherein mercy meets the elect of God. Keep hope, therefore, at the bottom of all your troubles.​

Resist Every Hindrance

Resist Every Hindrance That Keeps You from Relishing Your Father’s Adopting Grace

Simon Ford (c. 1619–1699) listed these hindrances:

• “A secret murmuring frame of spirit against God’s present dispensations towards thee.”

• “A kind of delight in complaining against thy self, and taking Satan’s part many times in bearing false witness against thy own soul.”

• “An unthankful denial of the works of God’s sanctifying spirit in the heart.”

• “An unwarrantable thrusting off those promises and comfortable truths which God in the Ministry of the Word or otherwise brings home to our condition.”

• “A groundless surmising of an irrecoverableness in our condition from such and such threatenings of Scripture as concern us not.”

• “Keeping Satan’s counsel.”

• “Secret tempting of God, and dependence upon such means and such men for peace, and limiting God to such and such a time, and resolving not to wait on God beyond that time, or not to expect it from any other means.”

• “A sinful ambition of self-preparations for comfort and peace: were I so much humbled, saith the poor soul, so kindly and ingenuously affected with my sins; could I recover of this deadness, and flatness of spirit into any measure of liveliness and spiritualness in my performances; then I would believe comfort, and assurance of God’s love belonged to me.”

• “Giving too much way to prejudices against God, and his love, from present sense and feeling.”

• “Slackness and remissness in (occasioned by successlessness) Ordinances and Duties.”

• “Over-scrupulousness, and skeptical-question-fulness.”

~Beeke, J. R., & Jones, M. (2012). A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (p. 552). Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books.​

Better Than Pure Gold

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 372:

What comfort is it to a godly man that trusts in his word, he is a God of truth! An honest man’s word is much, his oath is more. What shall his word be who is a God of truth? Though all men should be liars, yet God is true. Ye who have ventured your souls on his word, ye have an unspeakable advantage; his truth endures for ever, and it is established in the heavens; the ground of it is without beginning, the end of it without end. Ye are more sure than the frame of heaven and earth, for all these shall wax old as a garment. We speak of a naked word of truth; indeed it is no naked word that is God’s word. His works of providence, and his dispensation to you, is a naked and bare foundation, nay, a sandy foundation, and ye who lean so much to them, is it any wonder ye so often shake and waver? All other grounds beside the word are uncertain, unstable; this only endures for ever. The creature’s goodness and perfection is but as the grass, and the flower of the field. Venture not much on your dispositions and frames; thou knowest not what a day may bring forth: but his truth is to all generations, and it is well tried as gold seven times, – all generations have tried it and found it better than pure gold.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/his-truth-is-to-all-generations.89665/, Comment 1

At Peace With Crosses And Comforts

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 425:

The believer hath likewise peace with all the creatures, which the world hath not, and even in this he is a privileged man. He is in league with the stones of the field, and in peace in his tabernacle, Job 5:23. All things are his, because he is Christ’s, and all are Christ’s, who is the possessor of heaven and earth, at least the righteous heir of both, 1 Cor. 3:21. The unbeliever hath no right to the creature; though there be a cessation for a time between them and him, yet that is no peace, for they will at length be armed against him. They are witnesses already against him, and groan to God for the corruption that man’s sin hath subjected them unto. His table is, it may be, full, yet it is a snare unto him; he getteth ease and quietness outwardly: nay, but it slayeth the fool and destroyeth him. But the godly man is at peace, through Christ’s blood, with all crosses and comforts; the sting and enmity of all evils is taken away by Christ.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/the-believers-peace-with-all-the-creatures.89900/, Comment 1