There are certain authors who cut me to the core with their words. And I LOVE IT!
Their words are hard, requiring thought, prayer, and much humility to swallow, but oh, how worthy it is to engage with them!
Expressing the convictions, revelations, and encouragement found in the pages of a book such as this with another brother/sister in Christ enriches the study and increases the profit of the pursuit.
If you have never done so (or have not done so in a long while), choose an excellent piece of godly literature and read it with a brother/sister in Christ. Exchange thoughts, questions, and personal applications. Pray together. You will be amazed at the blessings which follow!
This word, “I have learned,” is a word which imports difficulty. It shows how hard the apostle came by contentment of mind; it was not bred in nature.
The business of true religion is not so easy as most imagine.
It is an easy thing to be wicked; hell will be taken without storm; but matters of piety must be learned.”
“… the art of divine contentment is not achieved without holy industry.” “I have LEARNED.”
“Matters of practice. As, self-denial. As for a man to deny his own wisdom, and see himself blind. As to have his own will, and have it melted into the will of God. As to be plucking out the right eye, beheading and crucifying that sin which is the favorite and lies nearest to the heart. As for a man to be dead to the world, and in the midst of need to abound. As for him to take up the cross, and follow Christ, not only in golden - but in bloody paths. As to embrace religion, when it is dressed in rags, and all the jewels of honor and preferment are pulled off. All this is against nature - and therefore must be learned.”
“Likewise with self-examination, for a man to take his heart, as a watch, all in pieces; to set up a spiritual inquisition, and traverse things in his own soul; to take David’s candle and lantern, and search for sin …”
“God’s Spirit speaks sweetly - but irresistibly.”
“Let us make this our prayer, “Lord, breathe Your Spirit into Your Word!”
“Whichever way providence blew, Paul had such heavenly skill and dexterity, that he knew how to steer his course.
… he could be anything that God would have him to be.”
“Paul, in regard of his faith and courage, was like a cedar, he could not be stirred. But for his outward condition, he was like a reed bending every way with the wind of providence. When a prosperous gale blew upon him, he could bend with that, “I know how to be full;” and when a boisterous gust of affliction blew, he could bend in humility with that, “I know how to be hungry.”
“A Christian, having cast his anchor in heaven, his heart never sinks.
A gracious spirit - is a contented spirit.”