Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spurgeon Thursday - I'm Sick of Being Sick

My personal health has been waning these past few weeks, but some things will get better soon, but still, I'm sick of being sick. 

Charles Spurgeon on the other hand actually saw the Holy Spirit at work in his maladies. Spurgeon suffered from chronic nephritis, a kidney inflammation similar to Lupus. At the age of 35 he was diagnosed with gout, a painful inflammation of the joints. In 1886 he said, “When I am suffering very greatly from gout, if anybody walks heavily and noisily across the room, it gives me pain” 

But worse, he Spurgeon also suffered from depression. “I do not suppose there is any person in this assembly who ever has stronger fits of depression of spirits than I have myself personally” Early in his career he witnessed seven people trampled to death during one of his services. After that he said “The very sight of the Bible made me cry” and later  “I think it would have been less painful to have been burned alive at the stake than to have passed through those horrors and depressions of spirit”

But he came through the fire, and was aptly named the Prince of Preachers. Here's several of his quotes regarding how the pain of illness is one of God's strongest tools

“Perhaps at this very moment, down in some cabin, or amidst the noise and tumult, and the raging of the ocean, when many are alarmed, there are Christians with calm faces, patiently waiting their Father’s will, whether it shall be to reach the port of heaven, or to be spared to come again to land, into the midst of life’s trials and struggles once more. They feel that they are well-cared for, they know that the storm has a bit in its mouth, and that God holds it in, and nothing can hurt them; nothing can happen to them but what God permits.” “Safe Shelter” (MTP 15, Sermon 902, p. 650).

“Health is set before us as if it were the great thing to be desired above all other things. It is so? I would venture to say that the greatest blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the exception of sickness. Sickness has frequently been of more use to the saints of God than health has. If some men, that I know of, could only be favoured with a month of rheumatism, it would, by God’s grace, mellow them marvelously.” C. H. Spurgeon, “The Minister in These Times” in An All-Round Ministry (Banner of Truth, 2000), p. 384, italics in the original.

“Men will never become great in divinity until they become great in suffering. ‘Ah!’ said Luther, ‘affliction is the best book in my library;’ and let me add, the best leaf in the book of affliction is that blackest of all the leaves, the leaf called heaviness, when the spirit sinks within us, and we cannot endure as we could wish. And yet again; this heaviness is of essential use to a Christian, if he would do good to others. . . . There are none so tender as those who have been skinned themselves. Those who have been in the chamber of affliction know how to comfort those who are there. Do not believe that any man will become a physician unless he walks the hospitals; and I am sure that no one will become a divine, or become a comforter, unless he lies in the hospital as well as walks through it, and has to suffer himself.” “The Christian’s Heaviness and Rejoicing” (NPSP 4, Sermon 222, p. 461).

“Perhaps there may be no way of teaching us so thoroughly the baseness of our heart as by leaving us to its devices; perhaps we shall never know our folly, unless suffered to play the fool, but oh prevent it, Lord! prevent it by thy grace! Better to be taught by suffering than to be taught by sin! Better to lie in God’s dungeon than to revel in the devil’s palace.” “Hezekiah and the Ambassadors, Or Vainglory Rebuked” (MTP 12, Sermon 704, p.438).

“Grace is given to keep us from sin, which is a great blessing; but what is the good of grace except it is in the time when the trial comes? Certainly, the grace that will not stand in the hour of temptation or affliction, is a very spurious sort of grace; and we had better get rid of it, if we have it. When a godly woman’s child dies, the infidel husband sees the mother’s faith. When the ship goes down, and is lost in the sea, the ungodly merchant understands the resignation of his fellow-man. When pangs shoot through our body, and ghastly death appears in view, people see the patience of the dying Christian. Our infirmities become the black velvet on which the diamond of God’s love glitters all the more brightly. Thank God I can suffer, thank God I can be made the object of shame and contempt; for, in this way, God shall be glorified.” “A Wafer of Honey” (MTP 52, Sermon 2974, p. 80).

“Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer.” C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Morning (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1865), April 5, p. 96.

“Israel gained by education. The Lord was not going to lead a mob of slaves into Canaan, to go and behave like slaves there. They had to be tutored. The wilderness was the Oxford and Cambridge for God’s students. There they went to the University, and he taught and trained them, and they took their degree before they entered into the promised land. There is no University for a Christian like that of sorrow and trial.” “Marah Better Than Elim” (MTP 39, Sermon 2301, p.151).

“Is it not ourselves that cry? Yes, assuredly; and yet the Spirit cries also. The expressions are both correct. The Holy Spirit prompts and inspires the cry. He puts the cry into the heart and mouth of the believer. It is his cry because he suggests it, approves of it, and educates us to it. We should never have cried thus if he had not first taught us the way. . . . There are times when we cannot cry at all, and then he cries in us. There are seasons when doubts and fears abound, and so suffocate us with their fumes that we cannot even raise a cry, and then the indwelling Spirit represents us, and speaks for us, and makes intercession for us, crying in our name.” “Adoption –The Spirit and the Cry” (MTP 24, Sermon 1435, p. 537, italics in the original).

“O dear friend, when thy grief presses thee to the very dust, worship there! If that spot has come to be thy Gethsemane, then present there thy ‘strong crying and tears’ unto thy God. Remember David’s words, ‘Ye people, pour out your hearts,’ — but do not stop there, finish the quotation, — ‘Ye people, pour out your hearts before him.’ Turn the vessel upside down; it is a good thing to empty it, for this grief may ferment into something more sour. Turn the vessel upside down, and let every drop run out; but let it be before the Lord. ‘Ye people, pour out your hearts before him: God is a refuge for us.’ When you are bowed down beneath a heavy burden of sorrow, then take to worshipping the Lord, and especially to that kind of worshipping which lies in adoring God, and in making a full surrender of yourself to the divine will.” “Job’s Resignation” (MTP 42, Sermon 2457, p. 134).

“I, the preacher of this hour, beg to bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days, and when God has seemed most cruel to me, he has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless him more than for anything else, it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things the richest, tenderest love has been manifested to me. Our Father’s wagons rumble most heavily when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of his grace. Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes. The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy. Fear not the storm, it brings healing in its wings, and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.” “Ziklag; Or, David Encouraging Himself in God” (MTP 27, Sermon 1606, p. 373).

1 comment:

  1. There are none so tender as those who have been skinned themselves.

    So true.

    Sorry to hear that you've been struggling again with health challenges. Do hope you are able to get some relief, Doug.