Over the weekend I picked up The Christian's High Calling by Maurice Roberts again. I really love his books which are made up of articles that were originally published in the Banner of Truth magazine. Because of that the chapters are self contained and easy to read if you only have short bits of time to sit and read.
This chapter that I shared from, 'Christ's Many Sided Love,' seemed to speak to me right where I was. It's too easy to doubt the Lord's love when we are surrounded by trouble, and I especially get myself in trouble when I look too far ahead (sufficient for the day is the evil thereof), and when I compare my circumstances to others, rather than trusting that the Lord is doing what is best for me. Reading through this helped me to remember, and I need a lot of reminding.....I hope it helps and reminds others who are reading as well!
common fault with us that we try to read the measure the of the love of Jesus from the outward circumstances of our lives. When the sun shines we believe His love. But when the clouds gather we doubt it. When we do not see our prayers at once answered we sink into gloom and morbidity. When troubles gather all around us in dark cluster we conclude that He has forgotten us.
It seldom occurs to us that Christ is best known when we are in trouble, pain, or reproach. We forget who it was that led Israel out of Egypt through the Red Sea, or who guided them through the wilderness to the Promised Land, or who appeared with Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednago in the fiery furnace, or who said to Paul in the shipwreck, 'Fear not, Paul, thou must be brought before Caesar.' We need to go again to Samuel Rutherford's Letters to call to mind that it is in the place of suffering that Jesus Christ is to be enjoyed most. Our faith is too accustomed to only being in the shallows.
Only as we pause, collect ourselves, and look back do we see how kindly He has led us from the hour of our first conversion till now.....The love of Jesus has ensured that no one could snatch us out of His hand. It is all His unnoticed and forgotten love to us.
And what of the moments of fiery trial and temptations when our feet almost slipped away? The true believer knows that Bunyan was right when he wrote of Apollyon, and of the foul fiend, Giant Despair, and of Doubting Castle. We have all been close enough to the pilgrims in their progress to the Celestial City to know that we too have only escaped by the skin of our teeth. It came to pass only through the love of Christ that would not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able to bear. How little we have thanked Him for it!
The worst way to judge Christ's love in this life is to go by outward things therefore. Surely Solomon taught us that in these words: 'No man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.' The Christian who expects Christ to make him richer that others, or healthier, or freer from troubles is ignorant of the first principles of Christ's love.
The fact is that no one knows whom Christ loves or hates by the outward circumstances of life.
The evidence of Christ's love is that we have our wills subdued to obedience, that we be made sound in faith, and sincere in our service.
It may be that the Lord will take stern measures to produce this godly character in us at times....The state of grace is a mysterious condition in which things are not as they seem and are not as we commonly feel them to be. The reason is that in the state of grace we are being taught to 'walk by faith, not by sight.'"