After hearing the sermon at the conference on David Brainerd (which I posted yesterday), I did some research on him and found his diary online. Below are some quotes that I came across in my reading today and wanted to share. I think it can be very helpful and encouraging to read about the lives of Christians who went before us. To see the way God used their lives, even in encouraging us many years later.
Another interesting site that I found on him shared his story written by John Piper - he summarized the story in these words - "Brainerd's life is one long agonizing strain to "redeem the time" and "not grow weary in well doing" and "abound in the work of the Lord." And what makes his life so powerful is that he pressed on in this passion under the immense struggles and hardships that he did."
"Oh!, that I could spend all my time for God!"
"I was resigned to God's will, to tarry his time, to do his work, and suffer his pleasure. I felt thankfulness to God for all my pressing desertions of late; for I am persuaded that they have been made a means of making me more humble, and much more resigned....I had no refuge but in God. Blessed be his name, that I may go to him at all times, and find him a 'present help.' "
"I prayed with him and two or three other Christian friends. We gave ourselves to God with all our hearts, to be his for ever: eternity looked very near to me while I was praying. If I never should see these Christians again in this world, it seemed but a few moments before I should meet them in another world."
"Saw much of my nothingness most of this day; but felt concerned that I had no more sense of my insufficiency and unworthiness.....In the evening I was visited by some friends, and spent the time in prayer, and such conversation as tended to our edification. It was a comfortable season to my soul: I felt an intense desire to spend every moment for God. God is unspeakably gracious to me continually. In times past, he has given me inexpressible sweetness in the performance of duty. Frequently my soul has enjoyed much of God; but has been ready to say, "Lord, it is good to be here," and so to indulge sloth, while I have lived on my enjoyments. But of late, God has been pleased to keep my soul hungry, almost continually; so that I have been filled with a kind of pleasing pain. When I really enjoy God I feel my desires of him the more insatiable, and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable; and the Lord will not allow me to feel as though I were fully supplied and satisfied, but keeps me still reaching forward. I feel barren and empty, as though I could not live with more of God; I feel ashamed and guilty before him. I see that "the law is spiritual, but I am carnal." I do not, I cannot live to God. Oh! for holiness! Oh! for more of God in my soul....It makes my soul press after God; the language of it is, "Then shall I be satisfied, when I awake in God's likeness," but never, never before: and consequently, I am engaged to "press toward the mark," day by day. Oh! that I may feel this continual hunger, and not be retarded, but rather animated, by every cluster from Canaan, to reach forward in the narrow way for the full enjoyment and possession of the heavenly inheritance! Oh! that I may never loiter in my heavenly journey!"
"This has been a sweet Sabbath to me; and blessed be God, I have reason to think that my religion has become more spiritual by means of late inward conflicts. Amen. May I always be willing that God should use his own methods with me!"
"A seasonable, steady performance of secret duties in their proper hours, and a careful improvement of all time, filling every hour with some profitable labor, either of heart, head, and hands, are excellent means of spiritual peace and boldness before God. Filling up our time with and for God, is the way to rise up and lie down in peace."
"....and went to bed resolving to live devoted to God all my days."
"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
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