By Charles Woodruff
Do you ever feel like God is sifting you? Are you puzzled by the purpose of pressures and problems in your life? None of us are without them. Some have more and some have less. If we are Christians we have to keep in mind Romans 8:28; "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose"These blessed words are written only for Christians. It has been a comfort for believers since Paul wrote the inspired words nearly 2000 years ago. The unbeliever knows nothing of this, and could not claim this truth (if he would even be interested), without first being regenerated. It is a blessed tonic for the children of God, called “A Divine Cordial" by the Puritan, Thomas Watson,in his classic book on the subject.
There are many things in our lives that do not seem to be working for our good, but God says through His apostle that they indeed do work for good. Often we cannot see the good when going through a trial. We may even ask God to remove the trial, and often He does not. We are called according to His purpose, and He has a purpose in our trials and tribulations. Jesus said "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world"(John16:33). I believe the following meditation by Mr. Spurgeon says it very well.
DELIVERANCE FROM DUST AND CHAFF
C.H. Spurgeon "For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all sections, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth" (Amos 9:9).
The sifting process is going on still. Wherever we go, we are still being winnowed and sifted. In all countries God's people are being tried "like as corn is sifted in a sieve." Sometimes the devil holds the sieve and tosses us up and down at a great rate, with the earnest desire to get rid of us forever. Unbelief is not slow to agitate our heart and mind with its restless fears. The world lends a willing hand at the same process and shakes us to the right and to the left with great vigor. Worst of all, the church, so largely apostate as it is, comes in to give a more furious force to the sifting process. Well, well! Let it go on.Thus is the chaff severed from the wheat. Thus is the wheat delivered from dust and chaff. And how great is the mercy which comes to us in the text, "Yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth"! All shall be preserved that is good, true, and gracious. Not one of the least of believers lose anything worth calling a loss. We shall be so kept in the sifting that it shall be a real gain to us through Christ Jesus. “Faith's Checkbook for 9/23"
Existentialism, Atheism, Humanism and Plain Unbelief
If I were an existentialist, I would probably worry. As a Christian, I don’t. Existentialism: A literary-philosophic cult of nihilism and pessimism, considered to be founded by Soren Kierkegaard, and popularized in France after World War II, chiefly by Jean-Paul Sartre. It holds that each person exists as an individual in a purposeless universe, and that each must oppose their hostile environment through the exercise of their free will. In existentialism there is no answer to the question “Why are things as they are and not otherwise?” (Webster’s New World Dictionary, College edition, 1960).
One does not have to be an existentialist to have that philosophy at least partially influence him or her. Europe is farther down that road than America, yet America is fast sliding that way. This land that was founded as certainly the most Christian influenced nation ever, is now, as the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer described it as in a “post Christian era.” No nation has ever been 100% Christian, but the foundation was here in early America. It is clear from our early history and documents.
“Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be troubled and confounded forever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: That men may know that thou whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” (Psalm 83:16-18)
“Sin may open bright as the morning, but it will end dark as the night.” T.DeWitt Talmadge, as quoted by R.G. Lee in "Bread from Bellevue Oven.”
“A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God.”
A.W. Tozer in “Gems from Tozer.”
“Prayer and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer. I cannot forget this. I look at men's lives. I believe that few pray.” J.C. Ryle in “A Call to Prayer.”
“When a man is savingly changed, he is deeply convinced not only of the danger, but of the defilement of sin; and O, how earnest is he with God to be purified. He loathes himself for his sins.He runs to Christ, and casts himself into the fountain set open for him and for uncleanness. If he fall, what a stir is there to get all clean again! He has no rest until he flees to the Word, and washes, and rubs and rinses in the infinite fountain, labouring to cleanse himself from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit.” Joseph Alleine in “Alarm to the Unconverted.”
REGARDING PRAYER “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness”- According to Arthur W. Pink and others, this quote is attributed to Martin Luther. George Muller, Phillips Brooks, and Richard Trench have also been reported to have said it, but Luther was before them. It is a good and scriptural saying. Maybe they all said it; I know I have often said it since I first read it in Pink’s Sovereignty of God in his chapter on prayer. It is one of my favorite books, and I suppose the one that influenced me the most regarding God’s absolute sovereignty. (Cw) Published by Charles Woodruff- email firstname.lastname@example.org
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"He must increase, I must decrease" (John 3:30). My name is Charles Woodruff. I am 74 years old, and my desire is to serve God the rest of my days, preaching the old evangelical gospel that Paul and Peter preached, that Calvin preached, that Whitefield preached, that Spurgeon preached, and that Isaac Watts wrote about in his hymns. You are welcome! I hope you like our blogs.Your comments are also welcome. Please feel free to comment.
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