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We have to learn to commit not only the future but also the past to the Lord. ~Daniel Fuller, The Unity of the Bible, p. 286.

The intentions of Providence commonly do not appear till a great while after the event, perhaps many years after. The sentences in the book of providence are sometimes long, and you must read a great way before you can apprehend the sense of them. ~Matthew Henry

Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him. ~Oswald Chambers

Sometimes providences, like Hebrew letters, must be read backward. ~John Flavel

Why believe the devil instead of believing God? Rise up and realize the truth about yourself – that all the past has gone, and you are one with Christ, and all your sins have been blotted out once and for ever. O let us remember that it is sin to doubt God’s Word. It is sin to allow the past, which God has dealt with, to rob us of our joy and our usefulness in the present and in the future.  ~Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression – Its Causes and its Cures, p.76

Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him. ~Oswald Chambers

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

~William Cowper, Light Shining Out of Darkness

Only if we trust God to turn past calamities into future comfort can we look with gratitude for all things. ~John Piper, Future Grace, p. 49

Without retrospect, no real prospect is possible. ~H. Richard Niebuhr

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. ~C.H. Spurgeon


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Mending and Healing

Mending and healing are two different things, I’m learning.  Mending means the stitches hold, the pain gradually lessens, the energy slowly returns.  Mending seems to be inextricably releated to time.  You can’t rush mending.

I have a feeling that healing is something different.  Healing, I think, is more connected to re-creating than rebuilding.

I’m working on mending right now, but I’m craving healing, in oh-so-many ways.   Time makes a poor thread for binding deep wounds, and the healing that comes with “give it time” is such a poor replacement for the healing balm of gospel restoration.

We cannot enjoy peace in this world unless we are ready to yield to the will of God in respect of death. Our times are in His hand, at His sovereign disposal. We must accept that as best.

John Owen (Meditation on the Glory of Christ, 1684, Preface)

The best moment of a Christian’s life is his last one, because it is the one that is nearest heaven.  And then it is that he begins to strike the keynote of the song which he shall sing to all eternity.

C.H. Spurgeon


Death in its substance has been removed, and only the shadow of it remains…Nobody is afraid of a shadow, for a shadow cannot block a man’s pathway for even a moment. The shadow of a dog can’t bite; the shadow of a sword can’t kill.

C.H. Spurgeon


A Christian knows that death shall be the funeral of all his sins, his sorrows, his afflictions, his temptations, his vexations, his oppressions, his persecutions.  He knows that death shall be the resurrection of all his hopes, his joys, his delights, his comforts, his contentments.

Thomas Brooks (The Transcendent Excellency of a Believer’s Portion above All Earthly Portions)

Death is the last and best physician, which cures all diseases and sins – the aching head and the unbelieving heart. Sin was the midwife which brought death into the world; and death shall be the grave to bury sin! O the privilege of a believer!

Thomas Watson (The Christian’s Charter.)

Tears are a tribute to our deceased friends.  When the body is sown, it must be watered.  But we must not sorrow as those that have no hope; for we have a good hope through grace both concerning them and concerning ourselves.

Matthew Henry


For we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world (1 Tim. 6:7).  There are no U-Hauls behind hearses.

John Piper (Desiring God, p. 161)

Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever?

C.S. Lewis


If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity, p. 119.)

I don’t know about you, but the more I think about the new heaven and the new earth, the more excited I get! It is incredible to think that one day soon we will not only experience the resurrection of our carcasses, but the renewal of the cosmos and the return of the Creator. We will literally have heaven on earth. Eden lost will become Eden restored and a whole lot more! Not only will we experience God’s fellowship as Adam did, but we will see our Savior face to face. God incarnate will live in our midst. And we will never come to the end of exploring the infinite, inexhaustible I AM or the grandeur and glory of his incomparable creation.

Hank Hanegraaff (Resurrection, p. 92.)

Ten For Tuesday: On Affliction

God never wastes pain.

 ~Jerry Bridges

It’s a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand.

~Madeleine L’Engle

Your afflictions may only prove that you are more immediately under the Father’s hand.  There is no time that the patient is such an object of tender interest to the surgeon, as when he is bleeding beneath his knife.  So you may be sure if you are suffering from the hand of a reconciled God, that His eye is all the more bent on you.

 

~Robert Murray McCheyne

 

Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them.

 

~C.H. Spurgeon

 

Afflictions make the heart more deep, more experimental, more knowing and profound, and so, more able to hold, to contain, and beat more.

 

~John Bunyan

 

The Lord afflicts us at times; but it is always a thousand times less than we deserve, and much less than many of our fellow-creatures are suffering around us.  Let us therefore pray for grace to be humble, thankful, and patient.

 

~John Newton

 

Poverty and affliction take away the fuel that feeds pride.

 

~Richard Sibbes

 

When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord’s choicest wines.

 

~Samuel Rutherford

 

Iron till it be thoroughly heated is incapable to be wrought; so God sees good to cast some men into the furnace of affliction, and then beats them on His anvil into what frame He desires.

 

~Anne Bradstreet

 

Afflictions tend to wean us from the world  – and to fix our affections on things above.

 

~John Angell James

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pay It Forward

Since I’m having kind of a dry spell of blogging here anyway…

My friend Kathryn Trent Brown offered the following challenge in Facebook note, which I’m passing on here to you.

If you want to join in the fun and get a little something in return … be one of the first THREE people to leave a comment on this post and you’ll receive a gift from me during this year. There’s a small catch…You knew there would be didn’t you? Post this on your blog or Facebook wall (sorry, no MySpace-ing) referencing this post then come back and leave a comment on this post, telling me you’re in. Fun, huh? And by in, you do know that means you have to Pay It Forward and give something to three people on your blog or Facebook page. I don’t even care if you make something … just giving something is good with me!

Remember, only the first 3 comments receive the gift from me. When and what will be a surprise.

Ten For Tuesday: On Reconciliation

If you have been putting off going to another person to try to achieve reconciliation with him, you have wronged him. ~ Jay Adams

We must take the initiative to restore peace. Jesus taught that it makes no difference whether you have wronged your brother or he has wronged you.  Either way, you are always responsible to initiate efforts toward peace (see Matthew 5:23-24 and 18:15).  If  we are serious about intently pursuing peace, we won’t be concerned about which of us is the offending party.  We will have one goal: To restore peace in a godly manner.  Unresolved conflict between believers is sin and must be treated as such; otherwise, it will spread throughout the body like cancer until it requires radical spiritual surgery. ~ Jerry Bridges

Time heals things. We’ve heard that many times. And occasionally it is true that people’s emotions die down and they lose the heart to disagree or fight. But to depend on time alone in the body of Christ to mend church problems is a very dangerous path.  More often than not the problems only fester, become more serious, and then explode. ~ Curtis C. Thomas

Because peace is a fruit of the Spirit, we are dependent upon the Spirit’s work in our lives to produce the desire and the means to pursue peace.  But we are also responsible to use the means He has given us and to take all practical steps to attain both peace within and peace with others. ~ Jerry Bridges

It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults.  So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Divisions in the church always breed atheism in the world. ~ Thomas Manton

The more fractured we are, the greater we become spectacles to the world.  The more we are united in love, the more the world sees Christ. ~ Curtis C. Thomas

Fractured fellowship robs Christians of joy and effectiveness, robs God of glory, and robs the world of the true testimony of the gospel.  A high price for an ego trip! ~ John MacArthur

Why is it that you harbor strife, bad temper, dissention, schism, and quarreling?  Do we not have one God, one Christ, one Spirit of grace which was poured out on us? ~ Clement of Rome

Jesus won’t allow the unreconciled condition to continue among believers.  In Matthew 5, if another considers you to have wronged him, Jesus says that you must go.  In Matthew 18, He says that if the other person has done something wrong to you, you must go.  There is never a time when you can sit and wait for your brother to come to you.  Jesus doesn’t allow for that.  He gives no opportunity for that.  It is always your obligation to go. ~Jay Adams

Last week’s Ten For Tuesday: On Forgiveness


Unconditional

I just finished reading my first Anna Quindlen novel. This bit of redemptive dialogue between Bridgette and Irving, in the final chapter of Rise and Shine, seemed worth sharing. (The first speaker is Bridgette, arguing with her rough and worldly friend Irvine, after he chastises her for a spat she’s just had with her sister.)

“You’re taking her side! You are! I can’t believe it!”

“There are no sides. You love somebody and you help them. You give ’em a break. And they do things you don’t like! But you love them, so you go along.”

“Like a deal…”

Irvine shook his head.

“If it’s like a deal, you’re screwed, ” he said. “A deal means you’re expecting something back.”