Saturday, May 12, 2012


 “The saints can have their greatest portion of joy in affliction, for the source of their joy is outside themselves.
Affliction is evil, or bad, in the sense that it may rob us of our joy. Like bitter medicine, affliction has an unpleasant effect on the senses. Therefore, Solomon, speaking of the evil days of sickness, declares them to be so distasteful that we shall say, "We have no pleasure in them" Ecclesiastes 12:1. Natural joy is a flower that flourishes in the sun of prosperity and withers when the sun is hidden by a cloud of trials.
Nevertheless, the saints can have their greatest portion of joy in affliction, for the source of their joy is outside themselves. God sends it, or else they would be as miserable as others are when trouble strikes. For comfort to spring from affliction is no more natural than for grapes to grow on thorns or for manna to appear in the wilderness. But God chooses the season to make the omnipotence of His love the more conspicuous. When Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal, he first had the wood and sacrifice drenched with water and the trench around the altar filled to the brim. Then he prayed and brought fire from heaven to lick it up. In like manner, God may allow a flood of afflictions to pour upon His children; He then kindles that inward joy in their bosoms to consume all their sorrows. The very waters of affliction add a further sweetness to their spiritual joy. Still, it is God who is good and affliction that is evil.
It is a day when past sins are remembered. The day of affliction brings unwelcome reminders of what sinful evils have passed in our lives. Old sins which were buried many years ago in the grave of forgetfulness come back to haunt us. Their ghosts walk in our consciences. And as the darkness of night heightens our fear of the unseen, so the day when death approaches adds to the terror of our sins, then remembered. Never did the patriarchs' sin look so ghastly to them as when it recoiled upon them in their distress Genesis 42:21.”
Reflection: We have had our sins washed away by the blood of the lamb, but we must ask God to remind us of this reality when distressing time come or we will be tempted to dwell on our failings instead of God’s victories which we bow are joint partakers in.
Prayer: Father help me to remember your forgiveness and cleansing ( 1 John 1:9) and not my failures for which Jesus suffered and died.
Quoted material from, ”The Christian in Complete Armour Daily Readings in Spiritual Warfare” by Gurnall and James S Bell.

No comments: