Monday, July 02, 2012


“The Hebrew word for sorrow pictures a shield that covers over; according to one commentator it denotes the disease, which doctors say, restricts the heart as with a lid, blocking out all relief. This is the hypocrite's sorrow in affliction, once conscience revives and God fills him with an amazing awareness of his sin. But now let me explore some particular kinds of affliction and show what comfort sincerity offers in each one.
Sincerity supports the soul under reproach from men. These are not just petty trials; they are known among the saints' martyrdoms as "cruel mockings" worthy of being recorded in the sufferings of Christ Hebrews 11:36. The matchless greatness of Jesus' spirit appeared not only in His enduring the cross but in "despising the shame" which the foul tongues of His bloody enemies unmercifully loaded upon Him Hebrews 12:2. Man's ambitious mind cannot put up with shame; applause is the idol he reaches out for and pays unbelievably high prices to have.
Diogenes once stood naked holding a heap of snow and drew gawking spectators to admire his patience-- until someone asked him whether he would do the same thing if no one were watching. The hypocrite feeds on credit; he lives on what the breath of man's praise gives him. When that fails, his heart aches with disappointment; but when acceptance turns to scorn he dies because he does not have the approval of God while being reproached by man.
Sincerity, however, supports the soul against the wind of man's vain breath because he has conscience and God Himself as his character witnesses at the trials brought against him. A good conscience and God's Spirit work together to make a Christian rejoice in time of reproach. It does not matter then if the hail of man's accusation batters the doors and roof. The Christian is secure inside.”
Quoted material from, ”The Christian in Complete Armour Daily Readings in Spiritual Warfare” by Gurnall and James S Bell.

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