Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Shoddy Tools

One of the things I am constantly struck by as I read biographies of faithful and godly Christians of previous generations is how much they suffered. Almost without exception, the Christian 'heroes' of the past have had some sickness, tragedy or hardship that they have had to wrestle with. Why is this the case? Here is what Charles Spurgeon, who was very well aquainted with suffering, had to say:
'Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.' Instruments shall be used, but their intrinsic weakness shall be clearly manifested; there shall be no division of the glory, no diminishing of the honor due to the Great Worker ... Those who are honoured of their Lord in public have usually to endure a secret chastening, or to carry a peculiar cross, lest by any means they exalt themselves, and fall into the snare of the devil.
Therefore, let us not grumble or complain when God allows us to suffer as we seek to serve Him faithfully. Rather, let us rejoice. One of the reasons He has let us suffer is so that all the glory may rightly go to Him. By showing more clearly our intrinsic weakness as instruments in His hands, He is bringing all the more glory to Him as the 'Great Worker', and keeping us from pride,and falling into a snare of the devil and making a mess of our ministries. How much more praise does a worker get if He produces a masterpiece using broken tools, than if He uses top of the range tools. A work produced using shoddy tools displays all the more the skill of the worker. Therefore, let us rejoice in being weak instruments, so that the glory of God might be displayed all the more brightly in us as we labour in His service.