Saturday, January 26, 2013
Rare Jewel: Chapter Eleven, Excuses
These are spot on. Onward!
Chapter 11: The Excuses of a Discontented Heart
1. I'm not discontent; I just have a sense of my condition.
Answer: If the sense of your affliction takes away the sense of your mercies, it is out of bounds.
It should not hinder you in your duties.
It should not breed envy of others.
2. I'm not discontent, but I am troubled by my own sin.
Answer: Is it really your affliction, rather than your sin? Were you troubled before the affliction came?
Are you really just increasing your sin with this lie to yourself?
If it is true that sin is vexing you, submit to God's hand in the affliction.
3. I am discontent because God has withdrawn from me.
Answer: Just because you are afflicted does not mean God has withdrawn.
Be content and you will find God's presence. Disquiet drives him from you.
Is the answer, really, for you then to depart from him?
Make after God with all your might.
4. I can be content in affliction if I can see God's hand but not when affliction comes from other men.
Answer: They are God's instruments.
Pity them. It is better to bear wrong than to do wrong.
5. But I never looked for this affliction.
Answer: The Spirit witnesses that bonds and afflictions shall abide me everywhere.
We have many mercies we never looked for as well.
6. Oh, but the affliction is too great.
Answer: It is not as great as your sin.
You might have been in Hell.
It may seem worse because you murmur so.
7. I'm sure my affliction is so much worse than others.
Answer: Your discontent may be making it worse.
Why should you be discontented when God is gracious to others?
You have the opportunity to honor God more than others.
If the sorrows of the world were divided equally among all men, your portion would be greater than now.
8. If the affliction was of a different kind, I would be content.
Answer: We don't get to choose our own rod.
God has chosen what is suitable for you. Other affliction might not suit your disease.
You should be able to manage your ship whichever wind blows.
God exercises you in a variety of ways for various rewards and crowns.
9. Oh, but the condition makes me unserviceable.
Answer: You are in the Body and a member of the Body.
Even if unserviceable because of affliction, you have a higher calling than even the angels.
You are called to faith, which is glorious despite mean circumstances.
It is more obedience to submit to God in a low calling than to submit in a higher calling, for the motivator is sheer obedience without a hint of self-love, riches, or credit.
10. But the affliction is so unconstant and unsettled.
Answer: Man in a settled state grows to rely and depend on himself.
God sees it is better for you to live in a continual dependence on him.
Often, the worse your outward estate, the better your soul.
You soul and eternal welfare are settled.
11. If I had never been in a better condition first, this wouldn't be so hard.
Answer: Is your eye evil because God has been good to you before?
It was to prepare you for the affliction.
Prepare for your coming afflictions. In the calm, prepare for storms, and they will be less.
Consider how much sunshine God has blessed you with in your life. And now you murmur that it rains? Bless God that you have had so many comfortable days.
All God gives you is from his love. Pledge obedience.
12. I'm thwarted by this affliction.
Answer: The greater the cross, the more obedience and submission required.
Be open-handed in your release of possessions and comfort which you were gifted freely.
13. At least I keep my discontent to myself.
Answer: God hears your discontented heart even if no one else does.
The tongue and soul must be silent