Yes, I am still sick.
And not feeling up to writing anything *new* this week.
So, I'm posting some words written by John Charles Ryle (1816-1900), who was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool. He was a writer, pastor and an evangelical preacher. Ryle was described as having a commanding presence and vigorous in advocating his principles albeit with a warm disposition.
His words fit nicely into a series I used to feature on my blog called "Quaint Words."
And they are most encouraging to my weak and ailing body, and my flagging spirit...
Might this also encourage you!
Welcome to "Quaint Words!"
These posts will contain thoughts, poems, and prayers from old books that I have found at antique stores, flea markets, and garage sales (with an occasional treasure from a bookstore).
I love the rhythm and sound of the older English language, and am blessed by other believers who have gone before me!
"There may be much weakness and infirmity, even in a true Christian.
You have striking proof of this in the conduct of the disciples...when the waves broke over the ship. They awoke Jesus in haste. They said to Him, "Master, care You not that we perish?"
There was impatience. They might have waited until their Lord thought fit to arise from His sleep.
There was unbelief. They forgot that they were in the keeping of the One who had all power in His hand.
There was distrust. They spoke as if they doubted their Lord's care and thoughtfulness for their safety and well-being...
But, after all, let us understand this is only a picture of what is constantly going on among believers in every age....Many of God's children get on very well so long as they have no trials. They follow Christ very tolerably in the time of fair weather. They fancy they are trusting Him entirely. They flatter themselves they have cast every care on Him...But suddenly some unlooked-for trial assails them...Fear and doubt and distress and anxiety break in upon them like a flood, and they seem at their wits' end...
The plain truth is that there is no literal and absolute perfection among true Christians, so long as they are in the body. The best and brightest of God's saints is but a poor mixed being. Converted, renewed and sanctified though he be, he is still compassed with infirmity...
I want [you] to see that [you] may have true faith and grace, in spite of all the devil's whispers to the contrary, though [you] may feel within many doubts and fears...so long as [you] are in the body, [you] must not expect faith to be above the reach of fear...
I beseech every reader of this message to remember this. It is a lesson worth attention. The apostles believed in Christ, loved Christ and gave up all to follow Christ. And yet you see in this storm the apostles were afraid. Learn to be charitable in your judgment of them. Learn to be moderate in your expectations from your own heart...
Let us learn, in the last place, how tenderly and patiently the Lord Jesus deals with weak believers...The whole of our Lord's conduct towards His disciples on earth deserves close consideration. It throws a beautiful light on the compassion and patience that there is in Him...
Let all the world know that the Lord Jesus will not cast away His believing people because of shortcomings and infirmities..."
(From "Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots" by John Charles Ryle, c. 1877, enlarged 1879)
How does the compassion of Jesus console you in times of infirmity?
Still trying to grin
"Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad -- for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world."
(1 Peter 4:12-13, NLT)
"And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold -- though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." (1 Peter 1:5-7, NLT)
"Dear brothers and sisters,a when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
(James 1:2-4, NLT)
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." (Romans 5:3-5, NLT)
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen."
(1 Peter 5:10-11, ESV)
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