Sunday, January 13, 2008

Puritan Reading, Bruised Reed - Chapter 9

Believe Christ, Not Satan

Never, no never, believe the father of lies. His accusations are severe, yet grounded in half-truths and distortions. Instead:

Let us therefore abhor all suspicious thoughts, as either cast in or cherished by that damned spirit who, as he labored to divide between the Father and the Son by jealousies, by saying, `If thou be the Son of God' (Matt. 4:6), so his daily study is to divide between the Son and us by breeding false opinions in us of Christ, as if there were not such tender love in him to such as we are. It was Satan's art from the beginning to discredit God with man, by calling God's love into question with our first father Adam. His success then makes him ready at that weapon still. (pg. 63)

And when we doubt that we are Christ's?

`This would be good comfort,' (That the Father has given us to Christ, and Christ gives us back again to the Father) says one, `if I were but as smoking flax.'

It is well that this objection pinches on yourself, and not on Christ. It is well that you give him the honor of his mercy towards others, though not to yourself. Yet do not wrong the work of his Spirit in your heart. Satan, as he slanders Christ to us, so he slanders us to ourselves. If you are not so much as smoking flax, then why do you not renounce your interest in Christ, and disclaim the covenant of grace? This you dare not do. Why do you not give yourself up wholly to other pleasures? This your spirit will not allow you to do. Where do these restless groanings and complaints come from? Lay your present state alongside the office of Christ to such, and do not despise the consolation of the Almighty nor refuse your own mercy. Cast yourself into the arms of Christ, and if you perish, perish there. If you do not, you are sure to perish. If mercy is to be found anywhere, it is there.

In this appears Christ's care to you, that he has given you a heart in some degree sensitive. He might have given you up to hardness, security and profaneness of heart, of all spiritual judgments the greatest. He who died for his enemies, will he refuse those, the desire of whose soul is towards him? He who, by his messengers, desires us to be reconciled, will he put us off when we earnestly seek it at his hand? No, doubtless, when he goes before us by kindling holy desires in us, he is ready to meet us in his own ways. When the prodigal set himself to return to his father, his father did not wait for him, but met him in the way. When he prepares the heart to seek, he causes his ear to hear (Psa. 10:17). He cannot find in his heart to hide himself long from us. If God should bring us into such a dark condition as that we should see no light from himself or the creature, then let us remember what he says by the prophet Isaiah, `Who is among you . . . that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?' no light of comfort, no light of God's countenance `let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God' (Isa. 50:10). We can never be in such a condition that there will be just cause of utter despair. Therefore let us do as mariners do, cast anchor in the dark. Christ knows how to pity us in this case. Look what comfort he felt from his Father when he was broken (Isa. 53:5). This is what we shall feel from himself in our bruising. (pg. 64-65)

We may suffer, and we may feel forsaken, but this is the plan of the Father to allow us to feel some of what Christ has undertaken on our behalf. In Christ are all Authority and Strength and Wisdom and Willingness to maintain us and comfort us even when the adversary accuses us and seeks to destroy us.

Never, no never, believe the father of lies.

No comments: