Saturday, December 20, 2008

CH Spurgeon's sermon "Beloved and yet afflicted"

When I was very ill with bad and persistent asthmatic attacks some 6 years back (which led to a hospitalization and many Emergency treatments), I took 2 months no-pay leave to recuperate at home and sought appropriate medical help. I am still on long term medication and thank God that my condition has stabilised and I do not get asthmatic attacks anymore nowadays.

During those times, there were many Lord's day when I could not go to church due to asthmatic attacks. God in His mercies ministered much grace to me through His Words, Christian books and articles. I was greatly encouraged by many sermons and article I read that I designed a simple website Believers' Encouragement to put up these to share with other fellow Christians.

One of CH Spurgeon's sermon which the Lord used to encourage me and comfort me was entitled "Beloved, and yet afflicted". This comforting sermon reminded me that as God's beloved people, God sometimes allow us to go through time of sickness for His glory, our good and the good of His Church.

This sermon is continuing to encourage me as I seek to walk with our Lord daily and glorify Him despite chronic illnesses.

Hope this sermon will encourage you too. If you are experiencing chronic illness or going through very severe trials, know that our Lord is near to you and He has His purposes in allowing providence to be so. He can work a way for you and enable you to glorify Him. All things will work together for your good if you are one of those who loved God and are called according to His eternal purposes (Romans 8:28).

Beloved and yet afflicted. By CH Spurgeon

"Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick" (John 11:3)

That disciple whom Jesus loved is not at all backward to record that Jesus loved Lazarus too: there are no jealousies among those who are chosen by the Well-beloved. Jesus loved Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus: it is a happy thing where a whole family live in the love of Jesus. They were a favoured trio, and yet, as the serpent came into Paradise, so did sorrow enter their quiet household at Bethany. Lazarus was sick. They all felt that if Jesus were there disease would flee at his presence; what then should they do but let him know of their trial? Lazarus was near to death’s door, and so his tender sisters at once reported the fact to Jesus, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” Many a time since then has that same message been sent to our Lord, for in full many a case he has chosen his people in the furnace of affliction. Of the Master it is said, “himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,” and it is, therefore, no extraordinary thing for the members to be in this matter conformed to their Head.

.....We need not be astonished that the man whom the Lord loves is sick, for he is only a man. The love of Jesus does not separate us from the common necessities and infirmities of human life. Men of God are still men. The covenant of grace is not a charter of exemption from consumption, or rheumatism, or asthma. The bodily ills, which come upon us because of our flesh, will attend us to the tomb, for Paul saith, “we that are in this body do groan.”

.... Oftentimes this sickness of the Lord’s loved ones is for the good of others. Lazarus was permitted to be sick and to die, that by his death and resurrection the apostles might be benefitted. His sickness was “for the glory of God.” Throughout these nineteen hundred years which have succeeded Lazarus’ sickness all believers have been getting good out of it, and this afternoon we are all the better because he languished and died. The church and the world may derive immense advantage through the sorrows of good men: the ungodly may be awakened, the doubting may be convinced, the ungodly may be converted, the mourner may be comforted through our testimony in sickness; and if so, would we wish to avoid pain and weakness? Are we not quite willing that our friends should say of us also “Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick”?

....Jesus knows all about us, but it is a great relief to pour out our hearts before him. When John the Baptist’s broken-hearted disciples saw their leader beheaded, “they took up the body, and went and told Jesus.” They could not have done better. In all trouble send a message to Jesus, and do not keep your misery to yourself. In his case there is no need of reserve, there is no fear of his treating you with cold pride, or heartless indifference, or cruel treachery. He is a confident who never can betray us, a friend who never will refuse us.

.... Remember, too, that Jesus may give healing. It would not be wise to live by a supposed faith, and cast off the physician and his medicines, any more than to discharge the butcher, and the tailor, and expect to be fed and clothed by faith; but this would be far better than forgetting the Lord altogether, and trusting to man only. Healing for both body and soul must be sought from God. We make use of medicines, but these can do nothing apart from the Lord, “who healeth all our diseases.” We may tell Jesus about our aches and pains, and gradual declining, and hacking coughs. Some persons are afraid to go to God about their health: they pray for the pardon of sin, but dare not ask the Lord to remove a headache: and, yet, surely, if the hairs outside our head are all numbered by God it is not much more of a condescension for him to relieve throbs and pressures inside the head. Our big things must be very little to the great God, and our little things cannot be much less. It is a proof of the greatness of the mind of God that while ruling the heavens and the earth, he is not so absorbed by these great concerns as to be forgetful of the least pain or want of any one of his poor children. We may go to him about our failing breath, for he first gave us lungs and life. We may tell him about the eye which grows dim, and the ear which loses hearing, for he made them both. We may mention the swollen knee, and the gathering finger, the stiff neck, and the sprained foot, for he made all these our members, redeemed them all, and will raise them all from the grave. Go at once, and say, “Lord, behold he whom thou lovest is sick.”.... Read full article....

May God bless you with His love and mercies in many wonderful ways every day :)

Thank you for stopping by. Take care and may God grant you a very blessed weekend!

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6 comments:

denise said...

May God bless you sweetly.

susan said...

Wanted to drop by and say hello.Hope all is well.Thank you for sharing the message on your post.Have a wonderful weekend.God Bless.

marja said...

Thank you, Nancie. It's good to be reminded of something I know but do not always remember.

May God bless you this Christmas time and always.

Love - marja

Pia said...

Wishing you all the best this Christmas and a blessed New Year!

God bless you and your family! ♥

darlene said...

Merry Christmas, my friend!

And thank you for all the sharing and encouragement that you send us!

xo

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