COMPASSED WITH INFIRMITY
by J.C. Ryle
Many of God's children get on very well
so long as they have no trials.
They follow Christ very tolerably in the time of fair weather.
They fancy they are trusting Him entirely.
They flatter themselves they have cast every care on Him.
They obtain the reputation of being very good Christians.
But suddenly some unlooked-for trial assails them--
Their property makes itself wings and flies away.
Their own health fails.
Death comes up into their house.
Tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word.
And where now is their faith?
Where is the strong confidence they thought they had?
Where is their peace, their hope, their resignation?
Alas, they are sought for and not found.
They are weighed in the balances and found lacking.
Fear and doubt and distress and anxiety break in upon
them like a flood, and they seem at their wits' end.
I know that this is a sad description.
I only put it to the conscience of every real Christian,
WHETHER IT IS NOT CORRECT AND TRUE.
The plain truth is that there is no literal and absolute perfection
among true Christians, so long as they are in the body.
The best and brightest of God's saints is but a poor mixed being.
Converted, renewed, and sanctified through he be,
HE IS STILL COMPASSED WITH INFIRMITY!
There is not a just man upon earth that always does good and
sins not. In many things we all offend.
A man may have true saving faith and yet not have it always
close at hand and ready to be used (Eccles. 7:20; James 3:2).
I beseech every reader of this to remember this.
It is a lesson worth attention.
The apostles believed in Christ, loved Christ,
and gave up all to follow Christ.
And yet you see in this storm the apostles were afraid.
Learn to be charitable in your judgement of them.
Learn to be moderate in your expectations from your own heart.
Contend to the death for the truth that no man is a true
Christian who is not converted and is not a holy man.
But allow that a man be converted, have a new heart, and be
a holy man, and yet be liable to infirmity, doubts, and fears.