Sunday, May 22, 2011

On Becoming a "Saint"

Another quote from A.W. Tozer:

"We expect to enter the everlasting kingdom of our Father and to sit down around the table with sages, saints and martyrs; and through the grace of God, maybe we shall, maybe we shall.

But for the most of us it could prove at first an embarrassing experience. Ours might be the silence of the untried soldier in the presence of the battle-hardened heroes who have fought the fight and won the victory and who have scars to prove that they were present when the battle was joined.

The devil, things, and people being what they are, it is necessary for God to use the hammer, the file, and the furnace in his holy work of preparing a saint for true sainthood.

It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply."

Pain and Suffering

For suffering Christians, the book "Be Still, My Soul:  Embracing God's Purpose and Provision in Suffering; 25 Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Problem of Pain", edited by Nancy Guthrie, is a must to own.

Here's just a little taste of the wealth of encouragement (which ranges as far back as St. Augustine and moves to the present day writings of the likes of John Piper and Joni Eareckson Tada):

"Strange as it may sound, it is yet true that much of the suffering we are called upon to endure on the highway of holiness is an inward suffering for which scarcely an external cause can be found.  For our journey is an inward journey, and our real foes are invisible to the eyes of men. 

Attacks of darkness, of despondency, of acute self-depreciation may be endured without any change in our outward circumstances.  Only the enemy and God and the hard-pressed Christian know what has taken place. 

The inward suffering has been great and a mighty work of purification has been accomplished, but the heart knoweth its own sorrow and no one else can share it.  God has cleansed his child in the only way he can, circumstances being what they are. 

Thank God for the furnace."
A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)