Monday, June 01, 2020
May 2020 Thoughts for the Day
Image: CRBC meeting house, Louisa, Virginia, May 2020.
Here are the May "Thought for the Day" updates from the CRBC website:
“Affliction is for our profit, as it is a refiner. It works us up to further degrees of sanctity…. The leaves of the fig tree and root are bitter, but the fruit is sweet; so afflictions are in themselves bitter, but they bring forth the sweet fruits of righteousness” (Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, 1692).
“There is a kindness in affliction, in that there is no condition so bad but it might be worse. When it is dusk, it might be darker. God does not make our cross so heavy as he might: he does not stir up all his anger” (Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, 1692).
“Here was a stately building; man carved like a fair palace, but now lying in ashes: let us stand and look on the ruins and drop a tear…. Could we avoid weeping if we saw our country ruined and turned by the enemy into a wilderness? If we saw our houses on fire, and our property perishing in the flames? But all this comes far short of the dismal sight—man fallen as a star from heaven” (Thomas Boston, Human Nature in Its Fourfold State, 1720).
“There is a kindness in affliction, in that your case is not as bad as others, who are always upon the rack, and spend years with sighing (Psalm 31:10). Have you a gentle fit of the ague [a fever or shivering]? Others cry out of the stone and strangulation. Do you bear the wrath of men? Others bear the wrath of God. You have but a single trial: others have them twisted together. God shoots but one arrow at you, he shoots a shower of arrows at others. Is there no kindness in all this? (Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, 1692).
“There is a kindness in affliction, in that, if we belong to God, it is all the hell we shall have. Some have two hells: they suffer in their body and conscience, which is one hell, and another hell to come is unquenchable fire. Judas had two hells, but a child of God has but one. Lazarus had his hell here; he was full of sores, but had a convoy of angels to carry him to heaven when he died. Say then, Lo! If this be the worst I shall have, if this be all my hell, I will patiently acquiesce: ‘Thy will be done.’” (Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, 1692).
“There is a kindness in that God gives gracious supports in afflictions. If he strikes with one hand, he supports with the other... There is not the least trial, but if God would desert us, and not assist us with his grace, we should sink under it….” (Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, 1692).
“There is a kindness in affliction that is preventative. God, by this stroke of his, would prevent some sin…. Affliction is sometimes sent for the punishing of sin, at other times for its prevention…. God’s people know not how much they are beholden to their affliction; that they might have fallen into some scandal, had not God set a hedge of thorns in their way to stop them. What kindness is this! God lets us fall into sufferings to prevent falling into snares; say then, Lord, do as it seems good in thy sight, ‘Thy will be done’” (Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, 1692).
“God by affliction would prevent damnation… A man by falling into briars, is saved from falling into the river; so God lets us fall into the briars of affliction that we may not be drowned in perdition” (Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, 1692).