By Charles Woodruff
Do you ever feel like God is sifting you? Are you puzzled by the purpose of pressures and problems in your life? None of us are without them. Some have more and some have less. If we are Christians we have to keep in mind Romans 8:28; "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" These blessed words are written only for Christians. It has been a comfort for believers since Paul wrote the inspired words nearly 2000 years ago. The unbeliever knows nothing of this, and could not claim this truth (if he would even be interested), without first being regenerated. It is a blessed tonic for the children of God, called a "Divine Cordial" by the Puritan, Thomas Watson, in his classic book on the subject.
There are many things in our lives that do not seem to be working for our good, but God says through His apostle that they indeed do work for good. Often we cannot see the good when going through a trial. We may even ask God to remove the trial, and often He does not. We are called according to His purpose, and He has a purpose in our trials and tribulations. Jesus said "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world"(John 16:33).
I believe the following meditation by Mr. Spurgeon says it very well.
DELIVERANCE FROM DUST AND CHAFF-
"For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all sections, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth" (Amos 9:9).
The sifting process is going on still. Wherever we go, we are still being winnowed and sifted. In all countries God's people are being tried "like as corn is sifted in a sieve." Sometimes the devil holds the sieve and tosses us up and down at a great rate, with the earnest desire to get rid of us forever. Unbelief is not slow to agitate our heart and mind with its restless fears. The world lends a willing hand at the same process and shakes us to the right and to the left with great vigor. Worst of all, the church, so largely apostate as it is, comes in to give a more furious force to the sifting process. Well, well! Let it go on. Thus is the chaff severed from the wheat. Thus is the wheat delivered from dust and chaff. And how great is the mercy which comes to us in the text, "Yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth"! All shall be preserved that is good, true, gracious. Not one of the least of believers lose anything worth calling a loss. We shall be so kept in the sifting that it shall be a real gain to us through Christ Jesus.
(From Faith's Checkbook for September 23rd).
Sunday, September 7, 2008
by Charles H. Spurgeon Jr.
If ever a man was sent of God, my father was -- a true apostle and a faithful ambassador of Jesus Christ. Although my judgment may be deemed very partial, I venture to express the opinion that, since the days of Paul, there has not lived a greater or more powerful exponent of the doctrines of grace, or a more able and successful preacher of the "saying" which is "worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." There was no one who could preach like my father. In inexhaustible variety, witty wisdom, vigorous proclamation, loving entreaty, and lucid teaching, with a multitude of other qualities, he must, at least in my opinion, ever be regarded as the prince of preachers. From the days when, as a little boy, I sat behind the platform, in the high-backed and well-cushioned seat in the dear old Tabernacle, with silver pencil-case and neat pocket-book, to take notes of my beloved father's sermons, until this present time, I have looked upon him as "the prime minister of England."
There was one trait in his noble and godly character, which, among many others, always shone with a lustre peculiarly its own. His humility was of a Christlike character. Words of eulogy concerning himself were ever painful to him, his motto in this, as in all other matters, being, "not I, but Christ;" yet, from his own child some meed of praise may surely come, and the son would fain render all due honour to the best of fathers. His blameless example, his holy consistency, his genial love, his generous liberality, his wise counsel, and his fearless fidelity to God and His truth, are all on a par with his fatherliness; and in my heart, as in all those with whom he came into contact, these qualities have been enshrined. The matchless grace and goodness, manifested in the home, found their counterpart in his public career, and proved how completely the spirit of the Master permeated the whole life of His servant. What my father was to me, to the Church of Christ, and to the world at large, none can ever fully estimate, but those who knew him best understood the secret of his magic power, for they felt that he "had been with Jesus," and that Jesus lived in him.
C. H. SPURGEON AUTOBIOGRAPHY, VOLUME 2, THE FULL HARVEST, pp. 278-279 (Banner of Truth, 1973).
The famous Spurgeon of London is thus memorialized by one of his twin sons. Note please the emphasis upon Spurgeon's "humility" and "holy consistency," some of the marks which his son and others saw to be "the secret of his magic power." To some small degree may this grace, goodness, and Christlikeness be ours. Adapted by w.F. Bell