Westminster Assembly

Westminster Assembly

Acts 6:4

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word."



1 Timothy 4:6-16

" If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Tim 4:6-16 (KJV)

DISCOURAGEMENT- Taken from A.W. Pink's Studies in the Scriptures, June 1948 Issue

Monday, November 8, 2010
  We turn now to consider its correctives; and obviously, these must be a diligent and resolute opposition to those evils which work in us faint-heartedness. As we have previously intimated, most of our
discouragements result from disappointments; and they, in turn, issue from unrealized expectations―the dashing of our hopes. Whether it be persons or things, when they yield not that which we look for, our
souls are cast down; and the stronger our expectation, the keener our disappointment when it be not fulfilled.

1. Learn then, dear reader, to hold all temporal things with a light hand. Discipline thyself to do so.  Set your affections upon things above and “not on things on the earth” (Col 3:2). There is nothing whatever
under the sun which can satisfy the heart; and if we seek our gratification therein, then “vexation of spirit” (Ecc 1:14) will be our certain portion. God is a jealous God and will brook no rival; and if we make an idol
of any object, He will break it to pieces or give us to discover it is made of clay. Be careful then not to make too much of the creature. The less we expect from others, even from fellow saints, the less shall we be disappointed and discouraged.

2. Cultivate a life of faith. A being unduly occupied with the creature is an evidence that faith is not in
operation, for faith is ever engaged with things unseen. Israel’s despondency in the wilderness was due to
their eyes being removed from the Lord. When the disciples became so faint-hearted and affrighted in face
of their storm-tossed boat, Christ put His finger upon the seat of their trouble by saying, “Why are ye fearful,
O ye of little faith?” (Mat 8:26). And how is a life of faith to be cultivated? By daily meditating on God’s Word, for that is its appointed food: “Nourished up in the words of faith” (1Ti 4:6). If that spiritual food be neglected, then faith will weaken and languish―more specifically, by laying hold of and making your own the divine promises. If you rest upon the promises of men, they will prove but a broken reed; but if we count upon God’s fulfilling His covenant engagements, we shall not be disappointed, for “faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (1Th 5:24). “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isa 26:3).

3. Cultivate a spirit of contentment. That was where Israel failed: their discouragement sprang from
dissatisfaction with the provision God made for them―lusting after the fleshpots of Egypt, they wearied of
the manna. There can be no peace of mind or rest of soul while we are displeased with the portion God has
allotted us. But how is our proneness unto such sinful dissatisfaction to be overcome? By diligently and
daily seeking grace to heed that precept, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content
with such things as ye have” (Heb 13:5). It is the spirit of covetousness which makes real contentment impossible.

They who are greedy cannot enjoy what God has already given them. O how we punish ourselves
by our inordinate desires! It is not the possession of things which brings satisfaction, but the use we make
of them and the pleasure we get out of them. Be thankful for God’s present mercies, and trustfully leave the
morrow with Him. Count your many blessings and develop the habit of gratitude.

4. Let your surrender to God’s sovereignty be more complete and constant. Israel were peeved and dejected
because they could not have their own way, and much of our discouragement springs from the same
evil root. The corrective lies in yielding ourselves to the good pleasure of God. He apportions His favours
as He pleases; and it is not for us to murmur at the same, but rather to say from the heart, “the will of the
Lord be done” (Act 21:14). Shall the creature quarrel with the Creator, because He has bestowed this and
that upon his fellows and withheld the same from him? To do so is horrible arrogance and presumption. But
how am I to learn the holy art of meekly acquiescing unto divine providence? By living under an habitual
sense of your own unworthiness in the sight of God; realizing daily that “It is of the LORD'S mercies that
we are not consumed” (Lam 3:22). Nothing will so much render us submissive to God’s dispensations than
the remembrance that He is dealing far better with us than we deserve.

5. “In your patience possess ye your souls” (Luk 21:19). Israel’s discouragement sprang from their
failure at this very point. They became disheartened at the prospect of a circuitous course rather than a direct
approach unto Canaan. Much of our discouragement is really a chafing over delays. What is the corrective? Self-discipline, the mortification of the spirit of restlessness and fretfulness. Cultivate “a meek and quiet spirit” (1Pe 3:4). But how is that to be achieved? By faith’s recognition that God has charge of our affairs, for that enables us to calmly endure whatever He appoints. “He that believeth shall not make haste” (Isa 28:16). Israel failed, as we often do, because “they waited not for his counsel” (Psa 106:13.)

 Daily beg the Lord to place his cooling hand upon your fevered flesh. Only by waiting on God and for Him shall we maintain peace of mind, cheerfulness of heart, and steadfastness in the performance of duty.
Its cure. “And David was greatly distressed…but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God”
(1Sa 30:6). The context is very solemn, showing that the best of men are but men at the best. Seeking help from the ungodly, David had placed himself under obligation to the king of Gath. He had pretended to be a friend of the Philistines and the enemy of his own people. Accordingly, Achish determined to make use of David and his men in the attack he had planned upon Israel. But the Lord turned against David the hearts of the other “lords of the Philistines” (1Sa 29:2-7), and Achish was obliged to dispense with their service, so that they were suffered to depart. Unconscious of the sad disappointment awaiting them, David and his men made for Ziklag, where he had left his wives and children. Arriving there on the third day, “behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep” (1Sa 30:3-4).

That was an experience calculated to overwhelm the stoutest soul. Arriving at the place where he had
left his family and possessions, the city was a mass of smoking ruins, and those whom he loved were not
there to welcome him. Broken-hearted over this calamity, further trouble now came upon David, for his
men murmured and mutinied―“for the people spake of stoning him” (1Sa 30:6). They blamed their leader
for having journeyed to Achish and leaving Ziklag defenceless, and for provoking the Amalekites (1Sa
27:8-9), who had thus avenged themselves. To add to his grief, David knew that his own folly had brought
down upon him this sore chastisement of the Lord. “And David was greatly distressed.” He had cause to be
so: never before had he been called upon to drink so bitter a cup. What, then, was his reaction? Did he yield
to his sorrow and sink into abject despair? No, he “encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” That was
where he found relief: that is the grand remedy for faint-heartedness!

David had sinned grievously, but conviction and contrition were now wrought in him. First, then, he took heart from the mercy of the Lord. God had promised His people that “if they shall confess their iniquity” and “be humbled” and “accept of the punishment of their iniquity,” He would “remember” His covenant with their fathers (Lev 26:40-42). It was on that ground he now acted: “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God”―i.e. his covenant God. “I acknowledge my sin unto thee…I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin” (Psa 32:5). However low the saint may fall, if he humbles himself before God, and confesses his sins, he may encourage himself in the divine mercy, for “the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting” (Psa 103:17). Second, he encouraged himself in God’s righteousness: “I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me” (Psa 119:75)―and that took the sting out of it.

Third, David encouraged himself in God’s goodness. He reviewed God’s favours to him in the past,
and recalled how often He had delivered him from trying situations. Fourth, he encouraged himself in
God’s omnipotency, realizing that nothing is too hard for Him, no situation hopeless unto His almighty
power, assured that He was able to overrule evil unto good, and to bring a clean thing out of an unclean.
Fifth, he encouraged himself in God’s promises: he “hoped ” in God (Psa 119:74), counting upon Him to
undertake for him. When we are at our wit’s end, we should not be at faith’s end, but trust in God’s sufficiency.

David had sadly departed from God, but now he turned unto Him in penitence and faith. Nor did
the Lord fail him: read the sequel (1Sa 30:7-8) and behold how God enabled him to overtake the Amalekites
and recover “all” (1Sa 30:18-19)! When discouraged, encourage thyself in the Lord your God. (End Quote)

  I have been extremely blessed and edified by the writings of A.W. Pink.  He has long ago went home to be with Our Lord and when he lived he was often misunderstood.  For me he is so much more than a dead white guy who wrote some great things.  For me he has been a type of Mentor, one who,though  not with me in person, his writings have helped me grow in the knowledge of God and the Doctrines of Grace more so than anyone outside of the Holy Scriptures.   Pink's writings are hard to find but I recommend everyone who desires to learn more to seek out his writings, most can be found at Chapel Library and from an online source,  Google "Pinks Gems" and may God bless you much in the days ahead.   Soli Deo Gloria!     Shane


Post a Comment