God Doesn't Sink

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April 7, 2020

God Doesn't Sink


During the 17th century, Samuel Rutherford (Scottish preacher and author) penned 365 letters to those who were in need of godly counsel, based on the Word of God. In the  Letters of Samuel Rutherford  we find his sixth letter to Lady Kenmure (Anwoth. November 26, 1631; letter XIX in this publication) to provide her with further: "Encouragement to abound in faith from the prospect of glory—Christ's unchangeableness." He encourages her to, "Be content to wade through the waters betwixt you and glory with him [Christ Jesus], holding his hand fast; for he knoweth all the fords. Howbeit ye may be ducked, yet ye cannot drown, being in his company."

After reading this particular wisdom from this faithful saint of old, the Holy Spirit graciously brought to mind, something the Lord Jesus taught me long ago...

"On that day, when evening had come, He [Jesus] said to them, 'Let us go across to the other side'...And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!' And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, 'Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?' "
~Mark 4:35, 37-40, ESV

Though it's been more than 30 years since I first read this passage, I still marvel at how little has changed from 2,000 years ago with the apostles of Christ,  and we, disciples of the Lord, today.

And as I marvel, the Holy Spirit brings me to yet another verse to hearken my mind and heart even more to the living Word of God—"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." (Romans 15:4, ESV)

Here's a sampling of two lessons I've learned from this passage:
  1. Jesus said, they were getting into the boat, because they were going to the other side of the sea. He didn't say, "Let's see if we can make it to the other side." He said they would.
  2. Jesus is God. And God doesn't sink.

Had the apostles remembered these truths they were already, faithfully taught by Christ, rather than defer to pragmatism (testing all things by their own finite knowledge and understanding), they would've practiced faith. They would've refrained from the futile efforts of trying to save themselves, and looked to Jesus, who was in the boat with them—taking a nap—in the midst of the howling winds, threatening waves; in a boat with rising water, yet, remaining afloat.

It may have not looked like a good place or time for napping. But if Christ, their Master and Lord was... then obviously, it was good (cf. Prov 3:5-8).

Let us heed the wisdom recorded in Romans 15:4. And let us, in every circumstance, remember the two things the apostles forgot: Whatever God says is true, and God doesn't sink. And if/when we forget these two truths, just as the apostles who had Jesus with them (just as we do too), then let us be quick to repent of our faithlessness, rather than harp on our unpleasant and/or frightful circumstances. When we repent of taking our eyes off of Jesus, we will immediately feel the weight of sinking flee from us, as our Lord steadily and powerfully leads us through...to the other side.

When our peace and hope are securely in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, we possess, "the rare jewel of Christian contentment" in every circumstance.

"III. A Christian comes to contentment, not so much by getting rid of the burden that is on him, as by adding another burden to himself...You think there is no way in the world to contentment, but, O that this burden were but off! O it is a heavy load, and few know what a burden I have. What, do you think that there is no way for the contentment of your spirit, but to get rid of your burden?...But you are deceived; for if you can get your heart to be more burdened with your sin, you will be less burdened with your afflictions.

"[I]f you so fall to bemoaning your sin before the Lord, you shall quickly find the burden of your affliction to be lighter than it was before. Do but try this piece of skill and art, to get your souls contented with any low circumstance that God puts you in."

~Burroughs, Jeremiah.
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. 1964.
The Banner of Truth Trust, 2018, pp.47-48

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