Affliction Overcome By Peace

September 7, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

Does your peace go with you only as far as the prison door? Or the hospital bed? It is easy to be confident of a salvation as long as your health is good; but as soon as death is in sight, does your conscience point out the serious symptom that your peace is a mere pretense?

I know that affliction is a trying time. Even the most sincere Christian may, for a season, be beaten away from his artillery and Satan seem to capture his confidence. Some precious saints have been carried down the stream of violent temptations so far that they question whether their former peace was from the Holy Spirit the Comforter or from the evil spirit the deceiver. Yet there is a vast difference between the two.

They differ in their causes. The darkness which sometimes comes upon the sincere Christian’s spirit in deep distress comes from the withdrawing of God’s countenance of light. But the horror of the deceived man’s torment proceeds directly from a guilty conscience which prosperity and preoccupation have lulled to sleep. As God’s hand upon this man awakens his numb conscience, it reveals the falseness of his profession of faith. It is true that the saint’s conscience may justly accuse him of carelessness or compromise through strong temptation, but it cannot accuse him of a hypocritical motive behind his whole spiritual walk.

They differ in the things which accompany them. Lively workings of grace are visible even as the Christian sorrows. The less joy he has from awareness of God’s love, the more earnestly he will grieve for the sin which clouded that joy. The farther Christ is gone out of his sight, the more he clings to his love for the Savior and cries after Him with the prayer of Heman: “Unto thee have I cried, O Lord”; his heartfelt supplication rises to God early in the morning hours (Psalm 88:13). – Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, September 6. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers, 1994.

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