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Posts Tagged ‘gary larsen’

Thus, when an affliction befalls you, many good senses may be made of God’s works towards you. You should think thus: it may be, God intends only to try me by this, it may be, God saw my heart was too much set on the creature, and so he intends to show me what is in my heart, it may be, that God saw that if my wealth did continue, I should fall into sin, that the better my position were the worse my soul would be, it may be, God intended only to exercise some grace, it may be, God intends to prepare me for some great work which he has for me: thus you should reason. – Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

The Piano on the Head or Hand of Grace?

Do you gravitate towards what Burroughs says above or towards Larsen’s view displayed in the comic? We may read Burroughs’ quote above and claim that it is our view in most circumstances but I think we honestly veer towards the view that we just got a piano dropped on our heads. I know in my own heart, I am so quick to think the worst in what God is doing. This financial hardship is a punishment and an a hindrance to us. That sickness is too hard and more than she can handle. Another miscarriage, really? Another stillborn? How is that a good thing, God? And when I sin I can still tend to hide in shame from God and go silent. My heart still shows more often than not that I still think God to be the man in control at his computer dropping a piano on me or someone I love.

God does not Deal with You as You Deal with Him

Here is where Burroughs had a piercing word for me that called me out on how little I believe God for good and how quick I am to misinterpret God’s ways:

I beseech you to consider that God does not deal by you as you deal with him. Should God make the worst interpretation of all your ways towards him, as you do of his towards you, it would be very ill with you. God is pleased to manifest his love thus to us, to make the best interpretations of what we do, and therefore God puts a sense upon the action of his people that one would think could hardly be. For example, God is pleased to call those perfect who have any uprightness of heart in them, he accounteth them perfect: ‘Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect’; uprightness in God’s sense is perfection. Now, alas, when we look into our own hearts we can scarce see any good at all there, and yet God is pleased to make such an interpretation as to say, It is perfect. When we look into our own hearts, we can see nothing but uncleanness; God calls you his saints, he calls the meanest Christian who has the least grace under the greatest corruption his saint. You say we cannot be saint here, but yet I God’s esteem we are saints. You know the usual title the Holy Ghost gives, in several of the Epistles, to those who had any grace, any uprightness, is, to the saints in such a place; you see what an interpretation God puts upon them, they are saints to him. And so I might name in many other particulars, how God makes the best interpretation of things; if there is an abundance of evil and a little good, God rather passes by the evil and takes notice of the good.

Did you catch that? God does not deal with us as we would deal with him. God has given us every reason to trust his ways and his goodness through the Cross and His tender dealings with us a father. He gave up his only son for us, do I really believe then that my temporary circumstances are an evil He is pouring out on me? Oh, how I must grieve him. I wept when I read that this morning. God esteems me, a sinner, as a Saint and I esteem him, a gracious, loving father, as an angry taskmaster. I grumble at financial struggles or sickness or loss or not being able to conquer a certain sin as if God is ambivalent or indifferent or uncaring. I become very discontent because somehow I know better how my life should go. Really?

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (Romans 8:31-35 ESV)

God is Not the Hard Master I Judge Him to be

So should we do, if there is only one good interpretation that we can make of a thing we should rather make use of the good one than the bad. Oh, my brethren (I would I could now speak only to such as are godly), retain good thoughts of God, take heed of judging God to be a hard master, make good interpretations of his ways, and that is a special means to help you to contentment in all one’s course.

God is for me! He has not been a hard master. He is not like us. He counts sinners righteous. He calls enemies his children. He sacrifices his only son for those who hate him. He is working for the good of his children when we don’t even know it or realize it. He is not waiting for you to screw up or waiting to drop another trial on your head just to crush you. Your heavenly father has good for you and me in all things.

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