COVID-19 How to live in uncertain times
(32 - Heavenly Doctor Sibbes)
See part 1 of this series here.
So if there is any group that has received a bad press it was the puritans. Puritan was a term of offence used in the 16th century and afterwards for those who wanted to purify the national church. Shakespeare and others caricatured them as high on theology and low on personality, dour types. While that was certainly true of some, there were many who were quite the opposite. 'The Heavenly Doctor Sibbes' as he became known was said by C.H. Spurgeon to 'scatter pearls with both hands.' With a phenomenal preaching ministry; they had to install a balcony in his church in Cambridge to fit everyone in. The son of a wheelwright (repairer of wooden wheels), he got sponsored for Cambridge which was a centre of Biblical faith at the time.
Sibbes loved to exalt in the goodness of Jesus. Take this: 'And what comfort is this, seeing God's love rests on Christ, as well pleased in him, we may gather that he is as well pleased in us, if we be in Christ!' Sibbes sought to comfort the downcast believer who had become full of doubt and felt bruised. Taking the text of Isaiah 55:1: 'A bruised reed he shall not break', he showed the kindness of Jesus towards those who feel weak because of their sin and come humbly to him. In fact he wrote a whole book on it entitled, 'The bruised reed' which I encourage you to look up! It has ministered to me in times of feeling low, so many times. A quote: '....he will not only NOT break...but he WILL cherish those with whom he deals.'
Are you feeling bruised by anxieties and fears; never feeling good enough as a believer? You feel that you have trusted Christ but your heart feels cold and fearful? 'Never fear to go to God, for we have such a mediator with him, who is not only our friend but our brother and husband.' Go to Jesus today and get thoughts of him from the Bible which make up your view of God. Soak in the thought that if you have repented of your sins and have true faith in Christ, the Father sees you as he sees his son! Faith is not some big complicated intellectual exercise. It is simply crying out to Jesus for help and to have his right standing with God. It is asking for him to be your Lord and Saviour. Sibbes was full of personality, because he overflowed with Jesus. MAY WE!
During these strange and testing times, we hope to post encouragement for you here each day. As ever, if you would like to speak with a Minister, please get in touch through our contact us page.