Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pastoral Letters part five

Letters Play Important Roles in our Lives
Here is the last post in my series of letters by M'Cheyne,which continues on the subject of prayer.

Lastly, God sometimes answers prayer by giving something better than we ask. An affectionate father on earth often does this. The child says, "Father, give me this sweet."  "No, my child," the father replies; "but here is bread, which is better for you." So the Lord Jesus dealt with his beloved Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). There was given to Paul a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet him. In bitterness of heart he cried, "Lord, let this depart from me." No answer came. Again he prayed. No answer still. A third time he knelt, and now the answer came, not as he expected. The thorn is not plucked away—the messenger of Satan is not driven back to hell; but Jesus says,

"My grace is sufficient for thee ; for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Oh, this is something exceeding abundant above all that he asked, and all that he thought! This is something better than he asked, and better than he thought! Surely God is able to do "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). Dear praying believers, be of good cheer. God will either give you what you ask, or something far better. Are you not quite willing that He should choose for you and
me? You remember that even Jesus prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me!" That desire was not granted, but there appeared unto Him an angel from heaven strengthening Him (Luke 22:43). He received what was far better—strength to drink the cup. Some of you, my dear believing flock, have been praying that, if it be God's will, I might be speedily restored to you, that God's name might be glorified ; and I have been praying the same. Do not be surprised if He should answer our prayers by giving us something above what we imagined. Perhaps He may glorify Himself by us in another way than we thought.

"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."

These things I have written, that you may come boldly to the throne of grace. The Lord make you a praying people. "Strive together with me in your prayers to God for me." "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all, making request with joy." Now, the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus, "The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing: and the God of peace be with you all. Amen."

Robert Murray M'Cheyne

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Intense Debate Comments

"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."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1