05 March 2013

Dealing with difficult circumstances

Some practical and Biblical advice from John Flavel for dealing with difficult Providences...

John Flavel
Do not murmur and complain under new straits. This is a vile temper, and yet how natural to us when wants press hard upon us! Ah, did we but rightly understand what the demerit of sin is, we would rather admire the bounty of God than complain of the straithandedness of Providence. And if we did but consider that there lies upon God no obligation of justice or gratitude to reward any of our duties, it would cure our murmurs (Gen. 32. 10). 

Do not show the least discontent at the lot and portion Providence carves out for you. O that you would be well pleased and satisfied with all its appointments! Say: ‘The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage’ (Ps. 16. 6). Surely that is best for you which Providence has appointed, and one day you yourselves will judge it so to be. 

Do not neglect prayer when straits befall you. You see it is Providence dispenses all, you live upon it; therefore apply yourselves to God in the times of need. This is evidently included in the promise (Isa. 41. 17) as well as expressed in the command (Phil. 4. 6). Remember God, and He will not forget you. 

Do not worry your hearts with sinful cares. ‘Behold the fowls of the air’ (Matt. 6. 26), says Christ; not the fowls at the door that are daily fed by hand, but those of the air, that do not know where the next meal is coming from; and yet God provides for them. Remember your relation to Christ, and His engagements by promise to you, and by these things work your hearts to satisfaction and contentment with all the allotments of Providence.

Flavel, John (2011-11-02). The Treasures of John Flavel (Kindle Locations 1062-1063). Monergism Books. Kindle Edition.

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