One Sabbath morning, I preached from the text, `My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ and though I did not say so, yet I preached my own experience. I heard my own chains clank while I tried to preach to my fellow-prisoners in the dark; but I could not tell why I was brought into such an awful horror of darkness, for which I condemned myself. On the following Monday evening, a man came to see me who bore all the marks of despair upon his countenance. His hair seemed to stand up right, and his eyes were ready to start from their sockets. He said to me, after a little parleying, “I never before, in my life, heard any man speak who seemed to know my heart. Mine is a terrible case; but on Sunday morning you painted me to the life, and preached as if you had been inside my soul.” By God’s grace I saved that man from suicide, and led him into gospel light and liberty; but I know I could not have done it if I had not myself been confined in the dungeon in which he lay. I tell you the story, brethren, because you sometimes may not understand your own experience, and the perfect people may condemn you for having it; but what know they of God’s servants? You and I have to suffer much for the sake of the people of our charge….You may be in Egyptian darkness, and you may wonder why such a horror chills your marrow; but you may be altogether in the pursuit of your calling, and be led of the Spirit to a position of sympathy with desponding minds.
When we become lifted up with pride, and think we deserve something good at God’s hands–it is impossible to satisfy us. But with the humble is wisdom, quietness, gentleness, and contentment. He who expects nothing, because he deserves nothing, is sure to be satisfied with the treatment he receives at God’s hands.
The proud man is like a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. He is turbulent and fiery. He alienates friends; he makes enemies. He has much trouble and sorrow–where the humble man passes quietly along. Pride and contentment do not go together. Neither do contentment and carnal ambition.
“Do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not!” (Jeremiah 45:5)
Our actual needs are not many; but the ambitious create a thousand desires and demands, which are hard, if not impossible to meet.
He who is carnally ambitious, will not be content with whatever he gains, because each elevation widens his horizon, and gives him a view of something else which he greatly longs for. And so he is tossed from vanity to vanity–a stranger to solid peace.
Are you ambitious for the things of this world?
Then you are your own tormentor!
“Somehow he [Tim] gets thoughtful sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant for them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see.”
“[Approximately] 75-80 percent of Mormon converts come from specifically Protestant background. A well-known saying within LDS circles, based on the average size of a Baptist church in America, is “We baptize a Baptist church every week.” Whatever the actual figures are, the fact is that far more people convert to Mormonism from evangelical churches than vice versa. Second, given the current levels of biblical and theological literacy in evangelical churches and the kinds of converts produced by certain segments of the church growth movement, I am skeptical that evangelicalism is growing in the right kind of way to stave off groups like the Mormons. An increasingly theologically illiterate laity and an entertainment-focused pastoral ministry opens wide the doors of opportunity for Mormonism and other heterodox movements to attract converts from our churches.”
Theodore Roosevelt was coming home from Africa, where he had been hunting big game. When he boarded the ship at an African port they rolled out the red carpet for him. The crowds gathered on the dock and applauded him. When he boarded the ship he was given the finest suite on board. All through the voyage he was the center of interest. Everybody went out of the way to favor the great man… Another man boarded the ship at the same time. He was and old missionary who had given his life away for Christ in Africa. Now his wife was dead, his children were gone, he himself was old and worn out, going back to America. But no one noticed him… No one applauded him. He was just a lonely old man.
When the ship docked at San Francisco a great crowed greeted Mr. Roosevelt. They applauded him. When he walked out upon the deck the bells rang, the whistles blew, and again they rolled out the red carpet and he landed amid pomp and glory… But no one was there to meet the old missionary—no one noticed him. He went to a small hotel to spend the night. That night he knelt by the side of his bed and prayed, “Lord, I am not complaining, but I just don’t understand. I gave my life for You in Africa, but it seems that no one cares. There was no one to greet me, no one to encourage me when I came home. Lord, I don’t understand.” And then it seemed that the Lord reached down from heaven and laid His hand on the old man’s shoulder and said, “Missionary, you are not home yet.”
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
“When you fall into the mire, be ashamed and be humbled, but return and wash in the open fountain, and return and beg for new strength to walk more surely. Learn to trust yourself less and God more, and take action against your enemies.. . ..Do not imagine that your little is enough, or despair because you cannot do more, but ‘press on toward the goal to win the prize.’ Do not think everything is lost because you are presently foiled. The experienced soldier knows that he will often win the day after a fall or the day after he has been wounded. Be assured of this, after a short battle follows an eternity of triumph.”