Edwards’ Resolution #10

Posted: Monday, December 9, 2013 in Resolutions

download10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

In the last Resolution post I mentioned that we don’t think often enough about death. Here. Edward’s expands that – we don’t think enough about eternity! Of course, death and eternity go hand-in-hand. We must not have the Epicurean mindset, “Eat, drink, and be merry – for tomorrow we die.” This philosophy believes that death is final. But it is only the beginning of eternity.

Our culture has bought into this philosophy. We are bombarded with the here and now, challenged to live life to its fullest because we might not have tomorrow. And we are to do so “comfortably.” This thought has even shown up in some of our largest churches. What strikes me about this resolution is that Edward’s lived in a time when pain and suffering were much more the norm. In fact, he died a young man from a smallpox vaccination which had recently been invented. His day did not have all the creaturely comforts of today – not even ibuprofen.

Perhaps our comforts and our ease have led to apathy concerning our eternity. Maybe, just maybe, we don’t have enough pain to drive us to Christ on a daily basis. Some do. Others just think they do. I fall into the latter, What I call pain, when I consider the strength my mother endured in her battle against cancer; when I consider the daily battles of some of our own brethren that do not have the physical luxuries and comforts we have. My pains? Even more, as I consider Hebrews 11, the Apostles, the early church fathers, the reformers who stood for truth – even to the point of death for the glory of heaven! And then, when all that is in me that can think of hell, the misery, the pain, the eternal agony. Well then, brothers, I am thankful for what awaits and am able to get over my pitiful soreness.

If you are suffering today, really in pain, then I pray that you would remember Christ! I pray that he would deliver you into His sweetness. I pray that you would know that His grace is sufficient – when you are weak, He is strong! If you are like me, perhaps having stubbed your toe to start your day or were stuck in traffic on the way to work, well, remember His grace is sufficient – and remember those who were sawn in two! And then remember where you could have spent eternity if God had not intervened! Suddenly my traffic jam is a great blessing!

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

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