Monday, February 21, 2011

Groan, Do Not Grumble

How many excursions into sin could have been avoided if in our suffering we groaned but did not grumble? When discontent over our lot in life gets the best of us, any form of relief (be it of the destructive kind) suddenly takes on the appearance of the best of graces, and grumbling makes way to giving in.

"Diseases, aches, sicknesses, pains—they are all the daughters of sin, and he who is not sensible of them as the births and products of sin, does but add to his sin and provoke the Lord to add to his sufferings (Isaiah 26:9-11). No man shall ever be charged by God for feeling his burden, if he neither frets nor faints under it. Grace does not destroy nature, but rather perfects it. Grace is of a noble offspring; it neither turns men into stocks nor to stoics. The more grace, the more sensible [one is] of the tokens, frowns, blows, and lashes of a displeased Father.

Though Calvin, under his greatest pains, was never heard to mutter nor murmur, yet he was heard often to say 'How long, Lord, how long?'

A pious commander being shot in battle, when the wound was searched, and the bullet cut out, some standing by, pitying his pain, he replied, 'Though I groan, yet I bless God I do not grumble.' God allows his people to groan, though not to grumble. It is a God-provoking sin to lie stupid and senseless under the afflicting hand of God. God will heat that man's furnace of affliction sevenfold hotter who is in the furnace but feels it not." (Thomas Brooks (1608-1680), The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod [Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, 2007], 26, italics original).

Let us feel the weight of our sin and of being alive in a fallen world. Savor it to the core, mindful of the truth that all this is from the hand of God, exclaiming along with the Psalmist, "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation" (Ps. 68:19).


  1. Great words - this subject has been on my mind lately. Very encouraging and rich in meaning!

  2. Glad that it was as much a blessing to you as it was to me, brother.


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