Monday, April 28, 2014

Good Medicine

The believer must beware of prescribing humanistic self-help and positive thinking for their doubts and dark times.  There is, however a form of self-talk that is truly helpful:
One of the great lessons the Psalms teach us is that we must learn to speak back to our souls, to expound biblical teaching to them.  We must exhort them to think biblically about our situation, dispensing the medicine Scripture prescribes.  ~Sinclair Ferguson, Doubt and Assurance

Why so downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God! (Psalm 42) 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quenching and Grieving

Sometimes spiritual darkness descends on our lives for the purpose of teaching us to doggedly trust in our faithful God.  Sometimes it comes as a result of our own actions.

Above all, grieve not the Spirit.  Quench not the Spirit.  Vex not the Spirit.  Drive Him not to a distance by tampering with small bad habits and little sins.  Little jarrings between husbands and wives make unhappy homes.  Petty inconsistencies, known and allowed, will bring a strangeness in between you and the Spirit.  - J. C. Ryle

Monday, April 14, 2014

God's Purposes In Our Pain

It's seldom easy to understand the trials and suffering we experience, but we must believe that God is in complete control.
He sometimes works painfully in our lives; he always works purposively, even if that purpose becomes clear only alter.  As the Puritan John Flavel once wrote, the providences of God are like Hebrew words - they can only be read backwards.  ~ Os Guinness, Doubt and Assurance

Monday, April 7, 2014

Not Fair-Weather Believers

The character of our faith has a whole lot to do with the character of the One we put our faith in.  This is why we can be confident no matter what the circumstances.
Followers of Christ are not simply fair-weather believers.  They are realistically committed to truth, people who "think in believing and believe in thinking" as Augustine expressed it.  They are, therefore, like experienced pilots who can fly in bad weather as easily as in good, by night as well as by day, and upside down as well as right side up. ~ W. Andrew Hoffecker, Doubt and Assurance