KNOWING WE ARE DUST
“If we are truly [God’s] in this world, we are ready to come down and humble ourselves, to be misunderstood, to be laughed at and treated with scorn and derision, in a sense to be crucified—certainly in spirit, perhaps even in body” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p523).
“[E]ven the greatest saints, though realizing that they can only be strong in the grace of God, and not in themselves, are nevertheless more sure than they ought to be of their own bravery and persistence, unless [God] leads them by the trails of life into a deeper knowledge of themselves. This proud idea induced even David to say: “As for me, I said in my prosperity, ‘I shall never be moved.’ By your favor, O LORD, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed” (Ps 30:6-7 ESV). Though in prosperity many saints have flattered themselves with perseverance and patience, yet they learned that they had deceived themselves when adversity broke down their resistance” John Calvin (ref#313, p48).
“God chooses to exercise his children with continual conflict, so that they may flee with alarm to hide themselves under his wings, where they may abide in peace” John Calvin (ref#164, March 30th).
“It is by feeling our utter insufficiency, either to perform duty or to withstand our enemies, that the Lord takes occasion to show us the suitableness, the sufficiency, the freeness, the unchangeableness of his power and grace” John Newton (ref#322, p182).
God’s Presence Makes Glad
When I can sit at Jesus’ feet,
And he anoints my head,
Such peace ensues, so calm and sweet,
I think my foes all dead.
My simple heart then fondly dreams,
It will see war no more;
Too firm to shrink my mountain seems,
And every storm blows o’er.
Then Jesus sends a trying hour,
This lurking pride to quell;
My dead foes rise with dreadful power,
And drag me down to hell.
Now faints my heart within me quite,
My mountain disappears;
All grace is vanished from my sight,
And faith seems lost in fears.
At length my Lord, with sweet surprise,
Returns to loose my bands,
Brings kind compassion in his eyes,
And pardon in his hands.
I drop my vile head in the dust,
And at my Lord’s feet fall;
His grace is now my song and boast,
And Christ my All in All.
John Berridge (ref#224, Song #336)