In one of the most amazing statements ever made by the Apostle Paul,we find a divine and blessed truth which should greatly comfort and encourage the most afflicted and troubled believer. A blessed truth reserved for those who have truly been born again by the Spirit of God and thereby brought into a special and intimate relationship with Christ: A blessed relationship, whereby even "afflictions" contribute or work to keep our hearts and affections on those things which are eternal.
If "the law" was our "schoolmaster" to bring us to Christ, then it is by such "afflictions" that our hearts and affections are kept from wandering from His side. Such a work Paul would describe as "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory". That it is by such "working of afflictions" that our hearts and minds should be "kept on those things that are eternal" proves not only our proneness to "wander from the God we love", but also the unchangeable love, mercy and faithfulness of our God.
Oh Lord! How is it, that we can be so unthankful and ungrateful, while Your love and mercy abideth so faithful! That after receiving such a great and unmerited salvation, our hearts, without such workings of afflictions, are still prone to consider those things "that are temporal"! And if these "light afflictions worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory", then why do we find ourselves constantly complaining of such "blessed afflictions", as though they are "unjust, undeserved and unfair"! Should not our hearts then, though suffering under manifold temptations", rejoice and give thanks to Your great faithfulness, mercy and love!"
O Lord! Help us to know more personally the blessedness of such "workings of afflictions". And should such afflictions confront us, may we learn to "embrace them" as ambassadors of mercy and grace to guide our wandering hearts and affections back to Him, who is the "lover of our soul". Help us, that we might always consider such afflictions to be but "light", while they "work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory". And Lord, should our hearts begin to wander from the God we love, may these ambassadors of love, seek us, and draw us back to the fold of Your mercy and grace!
It is often by such afflictions, that our hearts are truly set in tune to "sing His grace". Oh blessed afflictions, which are but light, may they "work in us such exceeding and eternal weight of glory", until we meet Him face to face!
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I'll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I've come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I'll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.