LOOK NOT TO YOURSELF

“The divine life in the soul of man is indestructible; it cannot perish. The seed that grace has implanted in the heart is incorruptible; it cannot be corrupted. Trials, conflicts, storms, and tempests are far from impairing the principle of holiness in the soul. They only deepen and strengthen it, and tend to its growth” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 11th).

“Sure, you’ll face difficulty, God is prying open your fingers so you’ll let go of your dreams, rest in his comforts, and take up his call” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 1st).

“[T]he only thing which made it necessary for our Lord to undertake to bear the cross, was to testify and prove his obedience to the Father; whereas there are many reasons which make it necessary for us to live constantly under the cross. Feeble as we are by nature, and prone to ascribe all perfection to our flesh we readily estimate our virtue above its proper worth, and doubt not that, whatever happens, it will stand unimpaired and invincible against all difficulties. Hence we indulge a stupid and empty confidence in the flesh, and then trusting to it wax proud against the Lord himself; as if our own faculties were sufficient without his grace. This arrogance cannot be better repressed than when He proves to us by experience, not only how great our weakness, but also our frailty is. Therefore, he visits us with disgrace, or poverty, or bereavement, or disease, or other afflictions. We thus learn to invoke his strength” John Calvin (ref#113, p458).

“It is so easy to groan about the difficulties of life. It is so easy to be dissatisfied. Why are these things so easy? Well, they’re easy because sin still causes us to make it all about us. Because sin really is selfishness at its core, we all still tend to shrink our worlds down to the small confines of our wants, our needs, and our feelings. If you put yourself in the center of your world, you will find plenty of things to complain about. Combine the hardships of life in this fallen world with the self-centeredness of sin and you have a recipe for disaster, or at least a miserable life of discontent. [A]ll your grumbling is ultimately grumbling against [God]” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Apr 25th).

“[T]he Lord dealt with me, I was rich, and He impoverished me. I was exalted, and He laid me low. He did not drain only one cup and dash solely one vessel, but many. He emptied me ‘from vessel to vessel.’ Happy will you be if the result of all this empting and humbling is the filling and enrichment of your soul with larger communications of grace and truth from Jesus” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Apr 18th).

“In grace, he leads you where you didn’t plan to go in order to produce in you what you couldn’t achieve on your own. He isn’t so much working to transform our circumstances as he is working through hard circumstances to transform you. [You are] blessed with the heart-transforming grace of difficulty” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 1st).