"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Monday, April 28, 2008

Do I mistake my happiness for blessing?


Suppose I address some Christian who is happy, and joyous, and cheerful, and has such dainty bits sent home to him out of the promises, such precious words from Scripture applied to his heart. Dear friend, are you apt to think that there is something specially good about you because you get all these remarkable enjoyments? Then let me disabuse your mind. It is your weakness which gets you these favors. When you are living in a hotel you will remark that certain persons have their dinners sent upstairs. What for? Oh, that is because they are ill. If you are well you must go down to the table d'hote with the rest; but if you are ill they will send it upstairs, and pay you extra attention. These very comforts that God gives you ought to make you enquire whether there is not something amiss with you, and instead of thinking you are strong and well you should search and see if there is not some weakness which the Lord in his mercy intends to remove by the double comforts which he gives to you. Nothing in the world ought to be a cause of self-exaltation; nothing that our God gives us ought to make us think highly of ourselves. Lower down, brother, lower down, and so you will rise. The way to heaven is downhill, not uphill. As Christ went down to the grave that he might come up again and fill all things, so must you go to the cross, and down to the grave of self and be buried with Christ, and learn the meaning of your baptism, and make it true that you are buried with him to all the world, and to yourself also, for so only can you rise into the fullness of the new life.
C.H. Spurgeon
Update: 5/3/08:
Point 95 of Luther's 95 Theses. I love that this is found in the last point of so important of document for Prodestents who what to see Christ lifted up.
95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven rather through many tribulations, than through the assurance of peace.

Act 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

4 comments:

Jared Nelson said...

That whole quote is a "wow." To think that our comfort in America is due to our weakness is shocking. But whenever I meet Christians from other countries, you know it must be true. They have to deal with more persecution and hard times, yet they devote themselves to more study and have greater faith. That's probably because the reverse it also true, that "suffering produces endurance." (Rom 5:3)

Christian said...

I don't think that it MUST necessary mean an illness. God has given to each one of us what we have. The question is rather what does God wan't me to do with this resources?
If America has 10 talents instead of 1, then it they also have a greater responsability to spend them in God's kingdom and not just on themselves.

Aaron said...

Fair enough Christian. There is nothing to argue with that point. I just don’t think that is the point he was making. Rich = ill was not necessarily the point either. The danger here is to miss the forest of the larger point for the trees of all the different examples and explanations and applications. Yes there are godly people who are wealthy and God as a purpose for that. (I bet they will still have some ways to go “lower down” though.) Still if you think you are more faithful because you are rich "Then let me disabuse your mind... Nothing in the world ought to be a cause of self-exaltation; nothing that our God gives us ought to make us think highly of ourselves. Lower down, brother, lower down, and so you will rise. The way to heaven is downhill, not uphill"

Lower down, brother, lower down, and so you will rise.
Piper says the same thing in a different context:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukcV-xtU3hc

Christian said...

True. Just as the lack of wealth does not mean the lack of blessing, the abundance of wealth does not indicate an abundance of blessing.
Your point is excelent, it is by lowering down, by giving our all, by sharing with the one who does not have that we are raised!