by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Thoughts in God's House (ii)
Then we go a step farther. We look round the congregation and suddenly find ourselves looking at someone who we know has had an infinitely worse time than we have been having. We thought our problem was the most terrible problem in the world and that no one had ever before suffered as we had. Then we see a poor woman, a widow perhaps, whose only child has died or has been killed. But she is still there. It puts our problem into a new perspective immediately.
The great Apostle Paul has a word for this, as for all things. "There hath no temptation taken you," he reminds us, "but such as is common to man" (1 Corinthians 10:13). Where the devil gets us is just there. He persuades us that nobody has ever had this trial before; no one has ever had a problem like mine; no one else has been dealt with like this....
We are always helped in our suffering by hearing that somebody else is suffering too! ... The realization that we are not alone in this helps to put the thing in the right perspective. I am one of a number; it seems to be something that happens to God's people—the house of God reminds us of all that.
Then it reminds us of things that go still farther back. We begin to study the history of the Church throughout the ages, and we remember what we read years ago, perhaps something in the lives of some of the saints. And we begin to understand that some of the greatest saints that have ever adorned the life of the Church have experienced trials and troubles and tribulations which cause our little problem to pale into insignificance.
The house of God, the sanctuary of God, reminds us of all that. And immediately we are beginning to climb; we are going upwards; we have our problem now in its right setting. The house of God, the sanctuary of the Lord, teaches us all these lessons.... My experience in the ministry has taught me that those who are least regular in their attendance are the ones who are most troubled by problems and perplexities. There is something in the atmosphere of God's house.
Faith on Trial, pp. 39-40
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings
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