21 May 2013

When Heaven Is Forgotten

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1)
Richard Baxter
Unbelievers seek their happiness in things of the world. Believers find their happiness in God. It is contrary to the nature of faith for a believer to seek peace in his earthly enjoyments. Our present pilgrimage is a prison, yet alas, we too commonly do this. By this we kill our comforts and then complain they are missing. It is folly to expect any stable peace or solid joy that does not come from Christ as the fountain.

O that Christians would learn to live with one eye on Christ crucified and the other on his coming in glory! If everlasting joys were more in your thoughts, spiritual joys would abound more in your hearts. No wonder you are comfortless when heaven is forgotten. When Christians let fall their heavenly expectations but heighten their earthly desires, they are preparing themselves for fear and trouble. Who has met with a distressed, complaining soul, where either a low expectation of heavenly blessings, or too high a hope for joy on earth is not present?

What keeps us under trouble is either we do not expect what God has promised, or we expect what he did not promise. We are grieved at crosses, losses, wrongs of our enemies, unkind dealings of our friends, sickness, or for contempt and scorn in the world. But who encouraged you to expect any better? Was it prosperity, riches, credit, and friends that God called for you to believe? Do you have any promises for these things in his Word? If you make a promise to yourself, and then your own promise deceives you, whom should you blame for that? We have less comfort in earthly things because we have too high an expectation from them. Alas, when will we learn from Scripture and providence to seek far more from God, and far less from the earth?

— Richard Baxter, as quoted in Voices from the Past, ed. Richard Rushing, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009).

4 comments:

  1. Wow! This is good!!! Thanks for sharing!
    ~Becky

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  2. Awesome reminder!

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  3. I will remember that this world is not our home and I cannot store all my riches in this place.

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  4. I guess Joel Osteen, and his worldly ilk, have never read Richard Baxter.

    ReplyDelete

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