“The will of the Father is the originating cause of our salvation, the worth of the Son’s redemption, its meritorious cause, and the work of the Spirit, its effectual cause.”
~ Arthur Pink (1886-1952)
That which occasions the honest Christian the most difficulty and distress as he seeks to ascertain whether a miracle of grace has been wrought within him is the discovery that so much remains what it always was, yea, often his case appears to be much worse than formerly – more risings of opposition to God, more surgings of pride, more hardness of heart, more foul imaginations. Yet that very consciousness of and grief over indwelling corruptions is, itself, both an effect and an evidence of the great change. It is proof that such a person has his eyes open to see and a heart to feel evils which previously he was blind unto and insensible of. An unregenerate person is not troubled about the weakness of his the coldness of his affections, the stirrings of self within. You were not yourself while you were dead Godwards! But if such things now exercise you deeply, if your eyes be open to and you mourn over that within to which no fellow creature is privy, must you not be very different now from what you once were?
~ A. W. Pink
“Afflictions are light when compared with what we really deserve. They are light when compared with the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. But perhaps their real lightness is best seen by comparing them with the weight of glory which is awaiting us.”
~ A.W. Pink (1886-1952)
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; And attend to the voice of my supplications.~ Psalm 86:5-6 (NKJV)
Here in this passage we find one of the mightiest appeals for answered prayer – God’s own goodness. David could seek no higher ground upon which to lay the basis for his petitions than the Lord’s own character. “You, Lord, are good”. What a testimony! Such a declaration! It is because of the goodness of God that His servant, can, by faith, approach the Lord for forgiveness, healing and restoration of his heart and soul.
And if we think this view of God’s good character is limited to just this one Biblical witness, listen to the testimony throughout Scripture. In 1 Chronicles 16:34 we read, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Elsewhere the Old Testament prophet Nahum writes, “The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble” (1:7). Mark, the Gospel writer, would also declare, “No one is good but One, that is, God” (10:18).
A.W. Pink, in his classic work on the attributes of God, describes the Lord’s goodness this way, “God is summum bonum, the highest good… The “goodness” of God refers to the perfection of His nature… There is such an absolute perfection in God’s nature and being that nothing is wanting to it or defective in it, and nothing can be added to it to make it better… The goodness of God is the life of the believer’s trust. It is this excellency in God which most appeals to our hearts. Because His goodness endureth forever, we ought never to be discouraged…”
Rather than being discouraged, David plead God’s goodness as his greatest encouragement while approaching Him in prayer and supplication. Do you find God’s innate goodness as a reason to come to Him in prayer? Do you trust that the Lord is good, just and holy and always ready to listen? May we rest upon the character of God and His goodness as the high ground while seeking His face during seasons of communion, fellowship and prayer with our Lord.