This is the final paragraph from this week's reading in "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment:"
"A new cart may creak and make a noise; but after it has been used a while, it will not do so. So when you are first a Christian, perhaps you make a noise and cannot bear affliction; but are you an old Christian and yet will you be a murmuring Christian? Oh, it is a shame for any who have been a long time in the school of Jesus Christ to have murmuring spirits."
The last aggravation that Burroughs considered in this chapter, for me, hits home hard. I have been a believer since I was fourteen years old, and through all the afflictions the Lord has always been faithful. More than that, I can look back now and see how He has conformed me to the image of the Beloved Son. Yet even now, when new trials come, I am tempted to murmur. I can quote the Bible verses and sing the songs, but still my flesh wants to grumble. I see another law working in the members of my flesh, as Paul says in Romans 7. How slow we are to learn our lessons.
Still, even in the midst of my conviction from reading this chapter, I was presented with hope. Hope not in myself, that I can pick myself up by my bootstraps, but hope in God the Father. I have been reading through Proverbs, and this morning came to this one: "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (Prov. 13:24). And of course this calls to mind Hebrews 12:7-8, "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." We get the point, right? Just as good earthly father will chastise his children to teach the path of life, so too does God chastise us, and this is one way we can have assurance of our adoption.
And the great hope is this: though earthly fathers cannot affect change in their children, yet God the Father does affect change in His children. His chastisement not only teaches us the way of life, but actually fits us to walk in it. So then, let us strive to not murmur, but to trust in the Father who is working in us sanctification to manifest His glory in us.
What were some of your thoughts on this week's reading?