Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blasted Gourds Towards Growth in Grace

Here's a hymn that resonates with experience. Sanctification is messy and uncomfortable. Making progress in grace towards formation increasingly into the image of Jesus involves suffering, joy, repentance and faith. Moreover, it is the gracious work of God that makes it so.

An excerpt from this John Newton hymn underscored a point in a recent message I heard on the subject of suffering and the goodness of God. Liking the excerpt, I found the whole text. It merits reading- even time to ponder and reflect.

Enjoy :)

Prayer Answered by Crosses

by John Newton

I ask'd the Lord, that I might grow
In faith, and love, and ev'ry grace,
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.

'Twas he who taught me thus to pray,
And he, I trust has answer'd pray'r;
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hop'd that in some favour'd hour,
At once he'd answer my request:
And by his love's constraining pow'r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this. he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow'rs of hell
Assault my soul in ev'ry part.

Yea more, with his own hand he seem'd
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Cross'd all the fair designs I schem'd,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cry'd,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
"'Tis in this way," the Lord reply'd,
"I answer pray'r for grace and faith.

"These inward trials I employ,
"From self and pride to set thee free;
"And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
"That thou mayst seek thy all in me."

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