To Keep Us from Seeking Complete Happiness on Earth

In the quietness of the morning, the past few weeks, I’ve been slowly reading A Little Book on the Christian Life. This particular passage ministered to me. It’s from the fourth chapter, Meditations on our Future Life.

“In order to resist this wickedness [our soul’s entanglement in the enticements of the flesh by seeking happiness on earth], the Lord teaches His people about the emptiness of this present life through constant lessons in suffering. Thus, so that His people don’t promise themselves lofty and untroubled peace in this life, He often permits them to be troubled and harassed by wars, uprisings, robberies, and other injuries. So that they don’t gawk with too much greediness at frail and tottering riches, or rest on those they already possess, He reduces them to poverty—or at least restricts them to very little wealth—through exile, barrenness of land, fire, or other means. So that they aren’t enticed too much by the advantages of married life, He lets them be frustrated by the offenses of their spouse, humbles them by the wickedness of their children, or afflicts them with the loss of a child. However, there are times when God deals more gently with His people. Yet even when He does, so that they don’t become puffed up with pride or inflated with self-confidence, He sets before their eyes disease and danger to teach them how unstable and fleeting are those good things that come to men, who are subject to death.

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. – Ps. 119:71

In the end, we rightly profit from the discipline of the cross when we learn that this life, considered in itself, is troubled, turbulent, attended by many miseries, and never entirely happy, and that whatever things we consider good in this life are uncertain, passing, vain, and spoiled because they’re mixed with many evils.”

Let us ask the Lord to keep our eyes on eternal things, and the Spirit to enliven our hope in eternal reward instead of the temporal comforts of this life!

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