Saturday, September 3, 2011

To Every Thing There Is A Season

Richard Sibbes, The Soul's Conflict With Itself, and Victory Over Itself By Faith, in Works, Vol. 1, p. 249:

Though in evil times we have cause to praise God, yet so we are, and such are our spirits, that affliction straitens our hearts. Therefore, the apostle thought it the fittest duty in affliction to pray. 'Is any afflicted? let him pray,' saith James; 'is any joyful? let him sing psalms,' James v. 13; shewing that the day of rejoicing is the fittest day of praising God. Every work of a Christian is beautiful in its own time. The graces of Christianity have their several offices at several seasons. In trouble, prayer is in its season. 'In the evil day call upon me,' saith God, Ps. xci. 15. In better times praises should appear and shew themselves. When God manifests his goodness to his, he gives them grace with it to manifest their thankfulness to him. Praising of God is then most comely, though never out of season, when God seems to call for it by renewing the sense of his mercies in some fresh favour towards us. If a bird will sing in the winter, much more in the spring. If the heart be prepared in the wintertime of adversity to prase God, how ready will it be when it is warmed with the glorious sunshine of his favour!

Our life is nothing but as it were a web woven with interminglings of wants and favours, crosses and blessings, standings and fallings, combat and victory, therefore there should be a perpetual intercourse of praying and praising in our hearts. There is always a ground of communion with God in one of these kinds, till we come to that condition wherein all wants shall be supplied, where indeed is only matter of praise.

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