"These all died in faith..."-Hebrews 11:13
In case you haven't been able to tell, we're big Spurgeon fans around here.
There have been many ways the Lord has used his writings and example to teach me important truths and lessons.
Lately, I've been reading a lot a missionary couple who abandoned every earthly pleasure to serve Christ and pursue His kingdom. Their lives being characterized by the sweet and precious passage in Philippians 1: 18-21. Each believer should have this focus, this passion, and this desire; we are being prepared for another place, this world is not the end, our earthly dwelling is just that--our earthly dwelling. Those missionaries that I am reading about had this firmly in their minds. They were living each day by faith, committing to glorify Christ whether that meant by their lives or by their death. Going back to Spurgeon, here is a passage that puts these thoughts in a better light.
"In faith they lived-it was their comfort, their guide,
their motive and their support; and in the same spiritual
grace they died, ending their life-song in the sweet strain
in which they had so long continued.
They did not die resting in the flesh or
upon their own attainments; they made no advance from their
first way of acceptance with God,
but held to the way of faith to the end.
Faith is as precious to die by as to live by...
To them the pains of death were but the birth pangs of a
better state. Take courage, my soul,
as thou readest this epitaph.
Thy course, through grace, is one of faith,
and sight seldom cheers thee;
this has also been the pathway of
the brightest and the best... "
I pray that this would characterize my own life; that each trial and affliction, each blessing and season, would remind and teach me to live by faith and not by sight. What I see is construed by me and is therefore tainted, praise the Lord I am not left to my own understanding!
Praise Him that He is faithful, He does not send us through the flames alone, He carries the heavy burden, and fills our lives with every spiritual blessing. Whether we realize it or not, we are being prepared for an eternal weight of glory that far surpasses what we can imagine.
This gives me such encouragement and drive because I am confident that each trial and grief has a purpose and there is a reason that the Lord has placed it in my life,
if I ever see the reason or not is another story but I know it is for my good and His great glory, and for me that is more than enough.
"Look anew tonight to Jesus, the author and finisher of they faith, and thank Him for giving thee like precious faith with souls now in glory."
-Charles H. Spurgeon