22 October 2013

Conquering By the Spirit of God

Richard Baxter
You are not to conquer difficulties and oppositions in your own strength, but by the Spirit of God. The power of his grace is sufficient, and his strength appears the greatest in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). All the saints in heaven have gone this way. They have overcome oppositions and difficulties; they were tempted, troubled, scorned, opposed, and now they triumph in glory (Rev 7:14). All that have gone to heaven are likely to have come this way. Do you desire to have their outcome without following their path?

Consider how much greater difficulties the ungodly go through to hell. They have stronger enemies than you have; God himself is their enemy, and yet on they go. Men threaten us with death, but God threatens damnation to discourage them, and yet on they go and they are not discouraged. Will you be more afraid of man than sinners are of God, and more afraid of death and scorns, than they are of hell?

Consider what abundant mercies you have to sweeten your present life and to make your burdens easy. You have all the blessings of this life and the promise of everlasting joy. What an abundance of mercy you have in your bodies, estates, friends, names, and souls! What promises and experiences to refresh you! What freedom of access to God; a Christ and heaven to rejoice in! Shall a stony or a dirty way discourage you more than these shall comfort you? Your work will grow easier and sweeter to you as your skill and strength increase. Your enemies are as grasshoppers before you. The power of the Almighty is engaged by love and promise for your help. Do you pretend to trust in God, and yet fear the face of man (Isa 50:6–7)? 'Fear not the reproach of man' (Isa 51:7–8). We strive for unspeakable glory, and nothing should seem too difficult, or sufferings too great.

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

Further Reading
The Christian Way of Facing Trials
Strangled and Burned: Remembering William Tyndale
The Lord Reigns

1 comment:

  1. What a blessing to chew on this a while! And yet there are those who portray the Christian life as being that of a constant, silly, stupid grin on their face who never had a trouble since the day they were "saved." Oh that God would remove such a notion from our head. Reading the last few verses of Hebrews 11 should help. How often do we find ourselves bemoaning our present state as not ideal, or just outright complaining that things are supposed to be better for me 'cause I'm a Christian? And we wonder at the pitiful state of the church in the USA, allowing children to be our leaders, false doctrine to be enshrined as truth, and desiring to walk with and please our God to become a point of ridicule. We have brothers and sisters all over the world who wake up in the morning (if they slept at all) not knowing whether they will find food to eat and water to drink, or if this maybe their final day on earth. And yet we find room to complain. God forgive us. Help us to return to our First Love, humbling ourselves before Him, taking up our own cross daily.


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