Solid Joys 3/8

Open the Windows of Your Heart
By John Piper

A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench.(Isaiah 42:3)

Probably the most encouraging words I have heard in weeks came from a prophecy in Isaiah 42:1–3 about how Jesus will use his spiritual power.

Do you feel like “a bruised reed” — like one of those big top-heavy Easter lilies whose stem has been squashed so that the flower flops to the ground and gets no sap? Do you ever feel like your faith is just a little spark instead of a flame — like that little red dot at the end of the wick after you blow out the birthday candle?

Take heart! The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of encouragement: he will not snap off your flower; he will not snuff out your spark. 

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me . . . to proclaim good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18). “The sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings” (Malachi 4:2). “[He is] gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14).

It may be a grief to us that we are only a spark instead of a flaming fire. But listen! And be encouraged: Yes, there is a big difference between a spark and a fire. But there is an infinite difference between a spark and no spark! A mustard seed of faith is infinitely closer to being a mountain of faith than it is to being no faith.

Open the window of God’s promises and let the Spirit blow into every room of your heart. The Holy Wind of God will not break or quench. He will lift up your head and fan your spark into a flame. He is the Spirit of encouragement.

      
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a follower
a follower
1 year ago

When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand:)
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
24:4-28 The disciples had asked concerning the times, When these things should be? Christ gave them no answer to that; but they had also asked, What shall be the sign? This question he answers fully. The prophecy first respects events near at hand, the destruction of Jerusalem, the end of the Jewish church and state, the calling of the Gentiles, and the setting up of Christ’s kingdom in the world; but it also looks to the general judgment; and toward the close, points more particularly to the latter. What Christ here said to his disciples, tended more to promote caution than to satisfy their curiosity; more to prepare them for the events that should happen, than to give a distinct idea of the events. This is that good understanding of the times which all should covet, thence to infer what Israel ought to do. Our Saviour cautions his disciples to stand on their guard against false teachers. And he foretells wars and great commotions among nations. From the time that the Jews rejected Christ, and he left their house desolate, the sword never departed from them. See what comes of refusing the gospel. Those who will not hear the messengers of peace, shall be made to hear the messengers of war. But where the heart is fixed, trusting in God, it is kept in peace, and is not afraid. It is against the mind of Christ, that his people should have troubled hearts, even in troublous times. When we looked forward to the eternity of misery that is before the obstinate refusers of Christ and his gospel, we may truly say, The greatest earthly judgments are but the beginning of sorrows. It is comforting that some shall endure even to the end. Our Lord foretells the preaching of the gospel in all the world. The end of the world shall not be till the gospel has done its work. Christ foretells the ruin coming upon the people of the Jews; and what he said here, would be of use to his disciples, for their conduct and for their comfort. If God opens a door of escape, we ought to make our escape, otherwise we do not trust God, but tempt him. It becomes Christ’s disciples, in times of public trouble, to be much in prayer: that is never out of season, but in a special manner seasonable when we are distressed on every side. Though we must take what God sends, yet we may pray against sufferings; and it is very trying to a good man, to be taken by any work of necessity from the solemn service and worship of God on the sabbath day. But here is one word of comfort, that for the elect’s sake these days shall be made shorter than their enemies designed, who would have cut all off, if God, who used these foes to serve his own purpose, had not set bounds to their wrath. Christ foretells the rapid spreading of the gospel in the world. It is plainly seen as the lightning. Christ preached his gospel openly. The Romans were like an eagle, and the ensign of their armies was an eagle. When a people, by their sin, make themselves as loathsome carcasses, nothing can be expected but that God should send enemies to destroy them. It is very applicable to the day of judgment, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in that day, 2Th 2:1. Let us give diligence to make our calling and election sure; then may we know that no enemy or deceiver shall ever prevail against us.

a follower -- This is one of those verses that have been changed by omissions and different translations.
In this version, the way i read it, It is clearly ‘we’ who are called to Stand in the Holy place.