These Inward Trials

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Prayer Answered by Crosses"

I asked the Lord that I might grow in faith and love and every grace,
Might more of His salvation know, and seek more earnestly His face.

‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray; and He, I trust, has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way as almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that, in some favoured hour, at once He’d answer my request,
And by His love’s constraining power subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel the hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry powers of hell assault my soul in every part.

Yea, more, with His own hand he seemed intent to aggravate my woe,
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

"Lord, why is this?" I trembling cried; "Wilt thou pursue this worm to death?"
"This is the way," the Lord replied, "I answer prayer for grace and faith.

"These inward trials I now employ from self and pride to set thee free,
And break thy schemes of earthly joy, that thou may’st seek thy all in Me."

- John Newton

The Father disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Heb. 12:10-11)

HT: Desiring God blog

See also: "These Inward Trials," chapter 21 in Knowing God by J. I. Packer


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