“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 6:23)
“Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst! He promises honor and pays with disgrace. He promises pleasure and pays with pain. He promises profit and pays with loss. He promises life and pays with death. But God pays as He promises all His payments are made in pure gold!”
“You have made known to me the path of life! You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand!” (Psalm 16:11)
– Thomas Brooks
“True grace will enable the soul to sit down satisfied with the naked enjoyments of Christ. The enjoyment of Christ without honor will satisfy the soul; the enjoyment of Christ without riches, the enjoyment of Christ without pleasures, and without smiles of creatures, will content and satisfy the soul. ‘It is enough; Joseph is alive’ (Gen. 45:28). So saith a gracious soul, though honor is not, and riches are not, and health is not, and friends are not, it is enough that Christ is, that he reigns, conquers, and triumphs. Christ is the pot of manna, the cruse of oil, a bottomless ocean of all comfort, content, and satisfaction. He that hath him wants nothing; he that wants him enjoys nothing.”
– Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, p.161
“The invitation of the Bible is not to dreary abstinence. It’s a call to find in God that which truly satisfies. It’s believing that we find lasting fulfillment, satisfaction, joy, and identity in knowing God and nowhere else. Whatever sin offers, God offers more, for God offers us himself. God isn’t just good, he’s better–better than everything else–and the true source of all joy.”
– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.85
Although it is true that ‘whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives’–still we are not all called upon to suffer great tribulation. God appoints for each, the discipline needed to prepare him for glory. With some He deals gently, for ‘He knows how much the weak can bear.’ He sees the tenderness of their spirits, the gentleness of their nature. With others He may appear to deal more harshly–He alone knows how hard and stubborn is their will, how great their backslidings, how needful all this seeming severity. He also permits great tribulation to fall upon some, that they may be examples to His Church; examples of love, of patience, of long-suffering–and is not this an honor? Shall we not count it all joy to be thus tried?
And has not God promised to proportion His consolations to the sufferings of His people? With what powerful comfort will such a passage as that which we are meditating upon, come home to the deeply-tried Christian–to him whose tears are wrung from him by pain of body, loss of friends, one bitter affliction after another: ‘God will wipe away every tear from their eyes!’ (Revelation 7:17)
The anticipation of suffering is often a cause of greater anguish than suffering itself; for though we are told not to worry about anything–still, the anxious mind will often distress itself with gloomy forebodings while in this valley of tears. But in Heaven, we shall have no fear of evil–no cause for fears. God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes: the tear of sympathy, the tear of pity, the tear of separation, the tear of pain, the tear of godly sorrow for sin, the tear of disappointed hope, the tear of wounded affection–shall flow no more! ‘God will wipe away every tear from their eyes!’ (Revelation 7:17) “
– Maria Sandberg, Glimpses of Heaven
“The secret of gospel change is being convinced that Jesus is the good life and the fountain of all joy. Any alternative we might choose would be the letdown.”
– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.15
“‘He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all–how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?’ (Romans 8:32).
Would I learn how to be contented and cheerful under all the cares and anxieties of life? What school shall I go to? How shall I attain this state of mind most easily? Shall I look at the sovereignty of God, the wisdom of God, the providence of God, the love of God? It is well to do so; but I have a better argument still.
I will look at Calvary and the crucifixion. I feel that He who spared not His only begotten Son but delivered Him up to die for me–will surely with Him give me all things that I really need. He who endured that pain for my soul–will surely not withhold from me anything that is really good. He who has done the greater things for me–will doubtless do the lesser things also. He who gave His own blood to procure me a home in Heaven–will unquestionably supply me with all that is really profitable for me by the way. Ah, reader, there is no school for learning contentment that can be compared with Calvary and the foot of the cross!”
– J.C. Ryle
“I know if the grace of God be in you, it will be as natural to you to groan out your condition, as it is for a suckling child to cry for the breast. Prayer is one of the first things that discovers a man to be a Christian (Acts 9:12). But yet if it be right, it is such prayer as follows. (1) To desire God in Christ, for himself, for his holiness, love, wisdom, and glory. For right prayer, as it run only to God through Christ, so it centres in him, and in him alone. ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire,’ long for, or seek after, ‘beside thee’ (Psalm 73:25). (2) That the soul might enjoy continually communion with him, both here and hereafter. ‘I shall be satisfied, when I awake with’ thine image, or in ‘thy likeness’ (Psalm 17:15). ‘For in this we groan earnestly’ (2 Corinthians 5:2). (3) Right prayer is accompanied with a continual labour after that which is prayed for. ‘My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning’ (Psalm 130:6). ‘I will rise now, I will seek him whom my soul loveth’ (Song of Soloman 3:2). For mark, I beseech you, there are two things that provoke to prayer. The one is a detestation of sin and the things of this life; the other is a longing desire after communion with God in a holy and undefiled state and inheritance.”
– John Bunyan, Prayer, p.47
“Knowing that he or she can trust in God, and confident that God will provide for all the needs of life, the godly man or woman submits to God’s provision and praises God for the wisdom with which he is overseeing his or her life: ‘The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance’ (vv.5-6). The believer knows that whatever he has or lacks is from the Lord; he delights to know that it is a good and wise God who portions his blessings, the greatest of which is himself. If the believer has God, that is more than enough.”
– Richard Phillips & Sharon Phillips, Holding Hands Holding Hearts, p.57