Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gilt is Afraid of Fire, But Gold is Not

I thought it would be a nice postscript to the series on lessons from Jeremiah's suffering in the book of Lamentations to post Spurgeon's morning entry from Morning and Evening for October 7.

Treasure his words:

Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test.

It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord's faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father's countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him," is heaven-born faith.

The Lord afflicts His servants to glorify Himself, for He is greatly glorified in the graces of His people, which are His own handiwork. When "tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope," the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which His vessels of mercy are permitted to pass.

Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day long.

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
Yahweh's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
"Yahweh is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I have hope in Him."
Yahweh is good to those who wait for Him,
to the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of Yahweh.
- Lamentations 3:21-26 -

Series Outline
  1. Introduction
  2. He identifies with, and suffers alongside, his people.
  3. He acknowledges that sin is at the root of suffering (even though not all suffering is a direct result of personal sin).
  4. He acknowledges God’s absolute sovereignty in his suffering.
  5. Piper and Edwards: The Glory of God in Ordaining Evil.
  6. He recognizes that although God is sovereign, He is not the enemy.
  7. He sets his hope entirely on, and rests in, God’s character.
  8. Spurgeon: Gilt is Afraid of Fire, But Gold is Not


tobekiwi said...

Glad to see you are back- figured you were busy with seminary and the holidays.
Just started in Jeremiah, but had been following the series and have benefitted much from it.
Read "According to Promise" by Spurgeon a month or so ago, he is one of my favorites.
Thank you for the posts, first time commenting, but just had to welcome you back and say thanks :o)

Mike Riccardi said...

Thanks for your encouragement, tobekiwi! I hope to hear more from you in the future!