June 13, 2009

Calmly resigning the management of all affairs

"Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee." Psalm 73:25.

How is this? Was it then a matter of indifference to Asaph whether his friends lived or died,-whether he enjoyed the comforts of life or perished with hunger? This was not literally and precisely his meaning. But what he intended may, I conclude, be summed up in the following ideas.

First, that there was nothing among all the charms of earth which could prevent him from wishing to depart and be with the Lord. Secondly, while continuing on earth, he desired nothing besides God in a comparative sense. His soul was at that moment so filled with the supreme excellence and glory of Jehovah, that all earthly things were put out of view. Thirdly, he desired nothing besides God in that he coveted nothing which he considered distinct from the emanations of God. Did he desire food and raiment and friends? He desired them chiefly as divine goodness expressed, as God existing in his outward bounty.

Such a temper of supreme delight in God will operate in unreserved and universal submission to divine providence. While God is more beloved than all other objects, the withholding or removal of every thing besides him will not awaken a spirit of unsubmission and rebellion.

While the Christian has such supreme delight in God, he will not be inordinately leaning on friends or wealth or any worldly object for enjoyment. No high expectations will be formed except those which centre in the supreme good. Lightly valuing the things of time and sense, he will scorn the restless pursuits and unsatisfied desires of the covetous; and holding the commands of God in supreme veneration, he will practice deeds of liberal charity.

Sensible that prosperity gives and adversity takes away only those things which are least desirable, neither by prosperity nor adversity will he be greatly moved. Ever assured that God, the supreme good, is safe, he will dismiss all anxieties respecting future changes, and come what will, he will "rejoice evermore." Calmly resigning the management of all affairs into hands dearer than his own, he passes his days in unruffled serenity, and knows not the distrusts of jealousy nor the uneasiness of unbelief. Having a greater regard for the divine will than for any earthly comfort which that will can bestow, he has learned "both how to abound and to suffer need," and "in whatsoever state" he is, "therewith to be content."

The result of this supreme love to God will be faith, trust, self-denial, obedience, and an unreserved consecration of all that we are and have to him, to be disposed of according to his pleasure, and to be employed in his service, how and when and where he is pleased to appoint.

Edward Griffin

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