Paul Levy recently drew attention
to William Green’s book on Job where he gives us 8 reasons for earthly troubles and calls them ‘disciplinary ends of the temptations of Satan.’
- They drive us to take refuge in God
- They train the believer in the duties and exercises of the Christian warfare
- They are made a means of intensifying our hatred for sin
- They can be an aid to self knowledge as unsuspected germs of evil are brought to light
- They afford the occasion to grace to develop itself in forms which otherwise it could not assume.
- They wean the heart from the love of this present world.
- Having been bravely and successfully resisted, they shall heighten future glory.
- They redound to the glory of God’s grace.
‘He (Satan) is labouring to undo the work of God, to defeat the atonement, to destroy souls whom Christ would save. But his machinations shall recoil upon himself. Do what he may, let him rage as he please, let him accomplish his worst, and he is after all only building up what in his blind fury and malice he is endeavouring to bring down”
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” (Rom. 6:12)
The difference between sin reigning in a Christian and sin merely remaining in a Christian is the active ongoing resistance of a Christian. As Thomas Manton has said, “Sin reigneth where it is not resisted; it only remaineth in you, where it is opposed.”
– Thomas Manton, An Exposition of the Epistle of James, p. 267.
Thomas Brooks, writing in 1675, said: “I have read of a greedy banker, who was always best when he was most in talking of money and the world. Being near his death, he was much pressed to make his will. Finally he dictates:
First, I bequeath my own soul to the devil
—for being so greedy for the muck of this world!
Secondly, I bequeath my wife’s soul to the devil
—for persuading me to this worldly course of life.
Thirdly, I bequeath my pastor’s soul to the devil
—because he did not show me the danger I lived in,
nor reprove me for it.
“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” (1 Timothy 6:9)
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” (1 Tim. 6:17-19)
HT: Grace Gems