Conviction and Suffering. A slice of Spurgeon and comment from me   Leave a comment

Great numbers of persons have no concern about eternal things. They care more about their cats and dogs than about their souls. It is a great mercy to be made to think about ourselves, and how we stand towards God and the eternal world. This is full often a sign that salvation is coming to us. By nature we do not like the anxiety which spiritual concern causes us, and we try, like sluggards, to sleep again. This is great foolishness; for it is at our peril that we trifle when death is so near, and judgment is so sure. If the Lord has chosen us to eternal life, he will not let us return to our slumber. If we are sensible, we shall pray that our anxiety about our souls may never come to an end till we are really and truly saved. Let us say from
our hearts:—

“He that suffered in my stead,

Shall my Physician be;

I will not be comforted

Till Jesus comfort me.”

It would be an awful thing to go dreaming down to hell, and there to lift up our eyes with a great gulf fixed between us and heaven. It will be equally terrible to be aroused to escape from the wrath to come, and then to shake off the warning influence, and go back to our insensibility. I notice that those who overcome their convictions and continue in their sins are not so easily moved the next time: every awakening which is thrown away leaves the soul more drowsy than before, and less likely to be again stirred to holy feeling. Therefore our heart should be greatly troubled at the thought of getting rid of its trouble in any other than the right way. One who had the gout was cured of it by a quack medicine, which drove the disease within, and the patient died. To be cured of distress of mind by a false hope, would be a terrible business: the remedy would be worse than the disease. Better far that our tenderness of conscience should cause us long years of anguish, than that we should lose it, and perish in the hardness of our hearts. C.H Spurgeon

My Comment on this is simple, suffering is part of this life, and many experience distress in varying degrees, but the Lord chastises those he loves and so I must embrace my distress of soul. Suffering is to be my schoolmaster to conforming to Christ ( Galatians 5:22) so that all the worldliness and the sins of pride and arrogance may be dealt with. The Apostle Peter writes in another place, “ He that has suffered in his body is done with sin.

The temptation to want to escape suffering and following through on the conviction of the Holy Spirit is enormous, God shall surely cut, then bind up, wound then heal. It is a dangerous human tendency to want to seek relief other than in Christ. Has he not said even as he said to Paul “ My Grace is sufficient for thee?’ This world is not our home, and we must not make it so. Looking to Christ in our every waking moment is the only answer. The convictions that come through the Spirit and the Word are precious and we should not shy away from them. It is better that we be suspect of our own hearts and Trust in God, than seek for comfort or relief elsewhere when God is doing His work in convicting and sanctifying us.

I echo the sentiments of Spurgeon on this one “Better far that our tenderness of conscience should cause us long years of anguish, than that we should lose it, and perish in the hardness of our hearts.

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Posted May 18, 2010 by Reformed and renewed in Uncategorized

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