Contentment with Changes in Providence

October 26, 2010 at 9:06 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

Skillful swimmers are not afraid to get into water over their heads, whereas young learners feel for the ground and stay close to the bank. Strong faith does not fear when God carries the creature beyond the depth of reason: “Neither know we what to do,” said Jehoshaphat, “but our eyes are upon thee” (2 Chronicles 20:12). It is as if he had said, “We are swallowed up in a sea that is bigger than we are. We have no idea how to get out of this trouble, but our eyes are upon You. We will not give up as long as there is strength in Your arm, tenderness in Your heart, and truth in Your promise.”

Weak faith that gropes for some footing for reason to stand on tries desperately to reconcile God’s promises and human reasoning. And weak faith asks many questions. When Christ says, “Give ye them to eat,” His disciples ask in return, “Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread?” (Mark 6:37). As if Christ’s bare word could not spare them that cost and trouble! “Whereby shall I know this?” says Zacharias to the angel, “for I am an old man” (Luke 1:18). His faith was too feeble to stand up to such wonderful news.

The more contented the Christian’s heart under the changes which providence brings on his state and condition in the world, the stronger is his faith. Weak bodies cannot tolerate changes of weather as well as healthy ones. Heat and cold, fair and foul weather cause no great change in the strong man’s constitution. But the weak person complains of them. Thus strong faith can live in any climate, travel in all weather, and handle any unpredictable condition. “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” says Paul (Philippians 4:11). Unfortunately, however, not all Christ’s followers are like Paul in this; and weak faith has not yet mastered this hard lesson. – Taken from The Christian in Complete Armour, October 20. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers Edition, 1994.

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