Sunday, January 3, 2016

"Bid her be cheerful"

In a collection of Oliver Cromwell's writings, this word to his daughter in a letter to his son-in-law was a word in season for me this afternoon:

" Bid her be cheerful, and rejoice in the Lord once and again: if she knows the covenant thoroughly, she cannot but do [so]. For that transaction is without her, sure and stedfast, between the Father and the Mediator in his blood; therefore, leaning upon the Son, or looking to him, thirsting after him, embracing him, we are his seed and the covenant is sure to all the seed. The compact is for the seed: God is bound in faithfulness to Christ, and in him to us; the covenant is without us, a transaction between God and Christ. Look up to it. God engageth in it to pardon us, to write his law in our heart, to plant his fear [so] that we shall never depart from him. We, under all our sins and infirmities, can daily offer a perfect Christ; and thus we have peace and safety, and apprehension of love, from a Father in covenant, who cannot deny himself. And truly in this is all my salvation, and this helps me to bear my great burdens."

Truly, if we do not know how to give one another, especially those nearest to us, encouragement in the gospel, how shall we be really fortified? No "Keep up the good work, you're a wonderful woman" stuff here. Instead it is an exhortation to an already faithful godly woman to believe the gospel, and thus she is is strengthened to go on from faith to faith. So may I believe, so may I speak, and so may I return with the burden of my daily weakness, failure and sin to the sweetest of truths which can bid the most weary woman be cheerful.

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