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The Rev. Roger Salter: “A Very Present Help?” (Psalm 46)

February 25, 2012

From the Rev. Roger Salter’s Living Oracles website comes the reflection on affliction and despair titled A Very Present Help? which is of course a reference to Psalm 46:1.  He is, unfortunately, very much correct in pointing out that we often grow complacent in good times, and then neglect the means of grace when in time of need:

Pious thoughts and platitudes are fine when we are fine and everything seems to be favourable. It is an irony that words of comfort only seem to be effective when we are in a state of comfort, the present is peaceful, and the future propitious. But in the moment of adversity our complacency is quickly dispelled and sentiments of consolation and encouragement lose their power. Distress makes us impervious to comfort, and our confidence withers away. We become engulfed in misery and despair. Prayer that is fervent on a good day disappears on a bad day, praise falls silent, and we descend into a state of spiritual lassitude. At our point of most urgent need, when the ministry of uplifting words is necessary, we are incapable of receiving them beneficially. In crises we tend to turn away from the means of grace. People absent themselves from the ordinances of God when they are most vulnerable, and wonder why their condition declines.

This is why spiritual discipline is so necessary: if we cannot be consistent about walking with Him in good times, how will we be able to stand in bad times?  As Rev. Salter goes on to note,

We must fear our own propensities and fallibility at all times and especially in seasons of spiritual prosperity. We often ground our own sense of well-being and security on false foundations. True faith is very small and delicate in each one of us. When God chooses to refine and strengthen our faith it is not usually through processes that are gratifying, though who can deny that confirmations of his love are also enjoyable and exhilarating.

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2012 3:24 am

    I found your blog tonight and am very glad I did.

    “This is why spiritual discipline is so necessary: if we cannot be consistent about walking with Him in good times, how will we be able to stand in bad times? ”

    So true.

    • February 25, 2012 1:24 pm

      Thanks for your comment! I looked over your blog and “Read Mark Learn” and am impressed. I’ll mention the “Read Mark Learn” site in a post later today.

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