The worst things work for good to the

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The revelation of jesus christ ministries:

Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him who gives ear, say, Come. And let him who is in need come; and let everyone desiring it take of the water of life freely. The revelation of jesus christ ministries

The worst things work for good to the Godly Rom. 8:28 :

The worst things work for good to the Godly Rom. 8:28 Do not mistake me, I do not say that of their own nature the worst things are good, for they are a fruit of the curse; but though they are naturally evil, yet the wise overruling hand of God disposing and sanctifying them, they are morally good. As the elements, though of contrary qualities, yet God has so tempered them, that they all work in a harmonious manner for the good of the universe. Or as in a watch, the wheels seem to move contrary one to another, but all carry on the motions of the watch: so things that seem to move cross to the godly, yet by the wonderful providence of God work for their good. Among these worst things, there are four sad evils that work for good to them that love God.

1. The evil of affliction works for good to the godly.:

1. The evil of affliction works for good to the godly. ( Rth_1:21 ). " The Almighty hath addicted me “. ( Psa_119:71 ) " It is good for me that I have been afflicted “. ( Gen_1:20 ) " Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it for good “. ( Gen_32:30 ) " Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, for I have seen God face to face “. ( 2Ch_33:11-12 ) " When he was in affliction he besought the Lord, and humbled himself greatly, and the Lord was entreated of him “. ( Act_9:6 ).Paul

2. The evil of temptation is overruled for good to the godly. :

2. The evil of temptation is overruled for good to the godly. The evil of temptation works for good. Satan is called the tempter (Mar_4:15). He is ever lying in ambush, he is continually at work with one saint or another. The devil has his circuit that he walks every day: he is not yet fully cast into prison, but, like a prisoner that goes under bail, he walks about to tempt the saints. This is a great molestation to a child of God. Now concerning Satan's temptations; there are three things to be considered. (1). His method in tempting. (2). The extent of his power. (3). These temptations are overruled for good.

1). Satan's method in tempting.:

1). Satan's method in tempting. i.) He observes the temperament and constitution: he lays suitable baits of temptation. Like the farmer, he knows what grain is best for the soil. Satan will not tempt contrary to the natural disposition and temperament. This is his policy, he makes the wind and tide go together; that way the natural tide of the heart runs, that way the wind of temptation blows. Though the devil cannot know men's thoughts, yet he knows their temperament, and accordingly he lays his baits. He tempts the ambitious man with a crown, the sanguine man with beauty. (ii.) Satan observes the fittest time to tempt in as a cunning angler casts in his angle when the fish will bite best. Satan's time of tempting is usually after an ordinance: and the reason is, he thinks he shall find us most secure. When we have been at solemn duties, we are apt to think all is done, and we grow remiss, and leave off that zeal and strictness as before; just as a soldier, who after a battle leaves off his Armour, not once dreaming of an enemy. Satan watches his time, and, when we least suspect, then he throws in a temptation.

1). Satan's method in tempting.(cont.):

1). Satan's method in tempting .(cont.) iii.) He makes use of near relations; the devil tempts by a proxy. Thus he handed over a temptation to Job by his wife. " Dost thou still retain thy integrity? " (Job_2:9). A wife in the bosom may be the devil's instrument to tempt to sin. (iv.) Satan tempts to evil by them that are good, thus he gives poison in a golden cup. He tempted Christ by Peter. Peter dissuades him from suffering. Master, pity Thyself. Who would have thought to have found the tempter in the mouth of an apostle? (v.) Satan tempts to sin under a pretence of religion. He is most to be feared when he transforms himself into an angel of light. He came to Christ with Scripture in his mouth: " It is written. " The devil baits his hook with religion. He tempts many a man to covetousness and extortion under a pretence of providing for his family, he tempts some to do away with themselves, that they may live no longer to sin against God; and so he draws them into sin, under a pretence of avoiding sin. These are his subtle stratagems in tempting.

(2). The extent of his power; how far Satan's power in tempting reaches.:

( 2). The extent of his power; how far Satan's power in tempting reaches. (i.) He can propose the object; as he set a wedge of gold before Achan. (ii.) He can poison the fancy, and instill evil thoughts into the mind. As the Holy Ghost casts in good suggestions, so the devil casts in bad ones. He put it into Judas' heart to betray Christ ( Joh_13:2 ). (iii.) Satan can excite and irritate the corruption within, and work some kind of inclinableness in the heart to embrace a temptation. Though it is true Satan cannot force the will to yield consent, yet he being an earnest suitor, by his continual solicitation, may provoke to evil. Thus he provoked David to number the people ( 1Ch_21:1 ). The devil may, by his subtle arguments, dispute us into sin.

(3). These temptations are overruled for good to…:

(3). These temptations are overruled for good to… (i.) Temptation sends the soul to prayer. The more furiously Satan tempts, the more fervently the saint prays. The deer being shot with the dart, runs faster to the water. When Satan shoots his fiery darts at the soul, it then runs faster to the throne of grace. When Paul had the messenger of Satan to buffet him, he says, " For this I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me " ( 2Co_12:8 ). Temptation is a medicine for security. That which makes us pray more, works for good. (ii.) Temptation to sin, is a means to keep from the perpetration of sin. The more a child of God is tempted, the more he fights against the temptation. The more Satan tempts to blasphemy, the more a saint trembles at such thoughts, and says, " Get thee hence, Satan. " When Joseph's mistress tempted him to folly, the stronger her temptation was, the stronger was his opposition. That temptation which the devil uses as a spur to sin, God makes a bridle to keep back a Christian from it .

(3). These temptations are overruled for good to…(cont.):

(3). These temptations are overruled for good to …(cont.) (iii.) Temptation works for good, as it abates the swelling of pride. " Lest I should be exalted above measure, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me " (2Co_12:7). The thorn in the flesh was to puncture the puffing up of pride. Better is that temptation which humbles me, than that duty which makes me proud. Rather than a Christian shall be haughty minded, God will let him fall into the devil's hands awhile, to be cured of his imposthume. (iv.) Temptation works for good, as it is a touchstone to try what is in the heart. The devil tempts, that he may deceive; but God suffers us to be tempted, to try us. Temptation is a trial of our sincerity. It argues that our heart is chaste and loyal to Christ, when we can look a temptation in the face, and turn our back upon it. Also it is a trial of our courage. " Ephraim is a silly dove, without heart " (Hos_7:11). So it may be said of many, they are without a heart; they have no heart to resist temptation. No sooner does Satan come, but they yield; like a coward who, as soon as the thief approaches, gives him his purse. But he is the valorous Christian, that brandishes the sword of the Spirit against Satan, and will rather die than yield. The courage of the Romans was never more seen than when they were assaulted by the Carthaginians: the valor and puissance of a saint is never more seen than on a battlefield, when he is fighting the red dragon, and by the power of faith puts the devil to flight. That grace is tried gold, which can stand in the fiery trial, and withstand fiery darts. the children of God.

Question. But sometimes Satan foils a child of God. How does this work for good?:

Question. But sometimes Satan foils a child of God. How does this work for good? Answer. I grant that, through the suspension of divine grace, and the fury of a temptation, a saint may be overcome; yet this foiling by a temptation shall be overruled for good. By this foil God makes way for the augmentation of grace. Peter was tempted to self-confidence, he presumed upon his own strength; and when he would needs stand alone, Christ let him fall. But this wrought for his good, it cost him many a tear. " He went out, and wept bitterly " ( Mat_26:75 ). And now he grows more modest. He durst not say he loved Christ more than the other apostles. " Lovest thou me more than these? " ( Joh_21:15 ). He durst not say so, his fall broke the neck of his pride. The foiling by a temptation causes more circumspection and watchfulness in a child of God. Though Satan did before decoy him into sin, yet for the future he will be the more cautious. He will have a care of coming within the lion's chain any more. He is more shy and fearful of the occasions of sin. He never goes out without his spiritual Armour, and he girds on his Armour by prayer. He knows he walks on slippery ground, therefore he looks wisely to his steps. He keeps close sentinel in his soul, and when he spies the devil coming, he stands to his arms, and displays the skill of faith ( Eph_6:16 ). This is all the hurt the devil does. When he foils a saint by temptation, he cures him of his careless neglect; he makes him watch and pray more. When wild beasts get over the hedge and hurt the corn, a man will make his fence the stronger: so, when the devil gets over the hedge by a temptation, a Christian will be sure to mend his fence; he will become more fearful of sin, and careful of duty. Thus the being worsted by temptation works for good.

Objection. But if being foiled works for good, this may make Christians careless whether they are overcome by temptations or no. :

Objection. But if being foiled works for good, this may make Christians careless whether they are overcome by temptations or no. Answer. There is a great deal of difference between falling into a temptation, and running into a temptation. The falling into a temptation shall work for good, not the running into it. He that falls into a river is capable of help and pity, but he that desperately turns into it is guilty of his own death. It is madness running into a lion's den. He that runs himself into a temptation is like Saul, who fell upon his own sword. From all that has been said, see how God disappoints the old serpent, making his temptations turn to the good of His people. Surely if the devil knew how much benefit accrues to the saints by temptation, he would forbear to tempt. Luther once said, " There are three things make a Christian, prayer, meditation, and temptation. " St. Paul, in his voyage to Rome, met with a contrary wind ( Act_27:4 ). So the wind of temptation is a contrary wind to that of the Spirit; but God makes use of this cross wind, to blow the saints to heaven.

3. The evil of desertion works for good to the godly.:

3. The evil of desertion works for good to the godly. Desertion is very sad, for as when the light is withdrawn, darkness follows in the air, so when God withdraws, there is darkness and sorrow in the soul. Desertion is an agony of conscience. God holds the soul over hell. " The arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinks up my spirits " ( Job_6:4 ). It was a custom among the Persians in their wars to dip their arrows in the poison of serpents to make them more deadly. Thus did God shoot the poisoned arrow of desertion into Job, under the wounds of which his spirit lay bleeding. In times of desertion the people of God are apt to be dejected. They dispute against themselves, and think that God has quite cast them off. Therefore I shall prescribe some comfort to the deserted soul. The mariner, when he has no star to guide him, yet he has light in his lantern, which is some help to him to see his compass; so, I shall lay down four consolations, which are as the mariner's lantern, to give some light when the poor soul is sailing in the dark of desertion, and wants the bright morning star.

3. The evil of desertion works for good to the godly. (cont.):

3. The evil of desertion works for good to the godly. (cont.) (1). None but the godly are capable of desertion. Wicked men know not what God's love means, nor what it is to want it. They know what it is to want health, friends, trade, but not what it is to want God's favor. You fear you are not God's child because you are deserted. The Lord cannot be said to withdraw His love from the wicked, because they never had it in the first place. The being deserted, evidences you to be a child of God. How could you complain that God has estranged Himself, if you had not sometimes received smiles and tokens of love from Him? (2). There may be the seed of grace, where there is not the flower of joy. The earth may want a crop of corn, yet may have a mine of gold within. A Christian may have grace within, though the sweet fruit of joy does not grow. Vessels at sea, that are richly fraught with jewels and spices, may be in the dark and tossed in the storm. A soul enriched with the treasures of grace, may yet be in the dark of desertion, and so tossed as to think it shall be cast away in the storm. David, in a state of dejection, prays, " Take not thy Holy Spirit from me " ( Psa_51:11 ). He does not pray, says Augustine, " Lord, give me thy Spirit " , but " Take not away thy Spirit " , so that still he had the Spirit of God remaining in him. (3). These desertions are but for a time. Christ may withdraw, and leave the soul awhile, but He will come again. " In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee " ( Isa_54:8 ). When it is dead low water, the tide will come in again. " I will not be always wroth, for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made " ( Isa_57:16 ). The tender mother sets down her child in anger, but she will take it up again into her arms, and kiss it. God may put away the soul in anger, but He will take it up again into His dear embraces, and display the banner of love over it. (4). These desertions work for good to the godly. Desertion cures the soul of sloth. We find the spouse fallen upon the bed of sloth: " I sleep " ( Son_5:2 ). And presently Christ was gone. " My beloved had withdrawn himself " ( Son_5:6 ). Who will speak to one that is drowsy?

3. The evil of desertion works for good to the godly.(cont.):

3. The evil of desertion works for good to the godly.(cont.) Desertion cures inordinate affection to the world. " Love not the world " ( 1Jo_2:15 ). Desertion works for good, as it makes the saints prize God's countenance more than ever. " Thy loving-kindness is better than life " ( Psa_63:3 ). Desertion works for good, as it is the means of embittering sin to us. Can there be a greater misery than to have God's displeasure? What makes hell, but the hiding of God's face? And what makes God hide His face, but sin? " They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him " ( Joh_20:13 ). Desertion works for good, as it sets the soul to weeping for the loss of God. When the sun is gone, the dew falls; and when God is gone, tears drop from the eyes. How Micah was troubled when he had lost his gods! " Ye have taken away my gods, and what have I more? " ( Jdg_18:24 ). So when God is gone, what have we more? It is not the harp and viol can comfort when God is gone. Though it be sad to want God's presence, yet it is good to lament His absence. Desertion sets the soul to seeking after God. When Christ was departed, the spouse pursues after Him, she seeks Him " in the streets of the city " ( Son_3:2 ). And not having found Him, she makes a hue and cry after Him. " Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? " ( Son_3:3 ). The deserted soul sends up whole volleys of sighs and groans. It knocks at heaven's gate by prayer, it can have no rest till the golden beams of God's face shine. Desertion puts the Christian upon inquiry. He inquires the cause of God's departure. What is the accursed thing that has made God angry? Perhaps pride, perhaps surfeit on ordinances, perhaps worldliness. " For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wrath; I hid me " ( Isa_57:17 ).

4. The evil of sin works for good to the godly. :

4. The evil of sin works for good to the godly. Sin in its own nature is damnable, but God in His infinite wisdom overrules it, and causes good to arise from that which seems most to oppose it. (i.) The sins of others work for good to the godly, as they produce holy sorrow. God's people weep for what they cannot reform. ( Psa_119:136 ) (ii.) The sins of others work for good to the godly, as they set them the more a praying against sin. " My prayer returned into mine own bosom “. ( Psa_35:13 ) iii.) The sins of others work for good, as they make us the more in love with grace. (iv.) The sins of others work for good, as they work in us the stronger opposition against sin. ( Psa_119:126-127 ) (v.) The sins of others work for good, as they make us more earnest in working out our salvation. The wicked are swift dromedaries in sin ( Jer_2:23 ). And do we creep like snails in religion? Shall impure sinners do the devil more service than we do Christ ? (vii.) The sins of others work for good, as they are the means of making the people of God more thankful. " God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, etc. " ( Luk_18:11 ).

4. The evil of sin works for good to the godly.(cont.):

4. The evil of sin works for good to the godly.(cont.) (viii.) The sins of others work for good, as they are means of making God's people better. Christian, God can make you a gainer by another's sin. The more unholy others are, the more holy you should be. The more a wicked man gives himself to sin, the more a godly man gives himself to prayer. " But I give myself to prayer " ( Psa_109:4 ). (ix.) The sins of others work for good, as they give an occasion to us of doing good. " They that turn many to righteousness, shall shine as the stars for ever and ever " ( Dan_12:1-13 :31 . This in being of corruption makes the saints prize Christ more. He that feels his sin, as a sick man feels his sickness, how welcome is Christ the physician to him! He that feels himself stung with sin, how precious is the brazen serpent to him! When Paul had cried out of a body of death, how thankful was he for Christ! " I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord " ( Rom_7:25 )

Exhortations to those who are called :

Exhortations to those who are called 1. Admire and adore God's free grace in calling you. ( Psa_145:1-2 ). 2. Pity those who are not yet called. Sinners in scarlet are not objects of envy, but pity; they are under " the power of Satan " ( Act_26:18 ). ( Luk_15:17 ). It seems the prodigal before conversion was not himself. 3. You who are effectually called, honor your high calling. " I, therefore, beseech you, that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called " ( Eph_4:1 ). Christians must keep a decorum, they must observe what is comely. This is a seasonable advice, when many who profess to be called of God, yet by their loose and irregular walking, cast a blemish on religion, whereby the ways of God are evil spoken of . Question. What is it to walk worthy of our heavenly calling? Answer. It is to walk regularly, to tread with an even foot, and walk according to the rules and axioms of the Word. A true saint is for canonical obedience, he follows the canon of Scripture. " As many as walk according to this canon " ( Gal_6:16 ). When we leave men's inventions, and cleave to God's institutions; when we walk after the Word, as Israel after the pillar of fire; this is walking worthy of our heavenly calling. To walk worthy of our calling is to walk singularly. " Noah was upright in his generation " ( Gen_7:1 ). When others walked with the devil, Noah walked with God. We are forbidden to run with the multitude ( Exo_23:2 )

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