Angel Work

This quarter’s edition of The Free Grace Broadcaster focuses on Comfort in Affliction.

I have taken much of value away from the articles within, especially a sermon by Charles Spurgeon called Cheer Up, My Dear Friends.

In it he addressed those discouraged that they could do nothing due to being laid aside by sickness or some other hard providence. I pass it on for its encouragement, especially with respect to the high work of refreshing God’s saints.

The refreshing of God’s saints is one of the highest works in which anyone can be occupied. God will send prophets to his servants at times when they need to be rebuked; if he wants to comfort them he generally sends an angel to them, for that is angel’s work. Jesus Christ himself, we read, had angels sent to minister to him. When? Was it not in the garden of Gethsemane, when he was bowed down with sorrow? Comforting is not ordinary work: it is a kind of angelic work. “There appeared unto him an angel strengthening him.” A prophet was sent to warn the Israelites of their sin; but when a Gideon was to be encouraged to go and fight for his country, it was the angel of the Lord that came to him. So I gather that comforting work is angel’s work. You, dear kind Christian men and women, who think that you are not able to do anything but to condole or to console with cheery words some souls cast down and sore dismayed, you are fulfilling a most blessed office, and doing work which many ministers find it difficult to perform. I have known some who have never known suffering or ill-health, and when they try to comfort God’s weary people they are dreadfully awkward over it. They are like elephants picking up pins: they can do it, but it is with a wonderful effort. God’s tried people comfort each other con amore; they take to the work as a fish to water. They understand the art of speaking a word in season to him that is weary, and when this is the case they may not complain that they are doing nothing.

Paul certainly thought highly of this angelic work. In 2 Timothy 1:16-18 he praised one such angelic servant in these terms:

[16] May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, [17] but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me—[18] may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.

Can you think of someone who might need refreshing through a kind word or note of encouragement. Why not undertake some angel work today?

Freeloader Friday

Today is this pastor’s high holy day off. I used to do Mondays. But I got into too much trouble brooding over the Sunday before. Fridays work out a whole lot better for me and my bride.

I still want to post however, but not have to work at it.

So I think I will start a Friday tradition of freeloading off of others’ work and commend it to you instead of composing my own stuff.

Pastor Kevin DeYoung has a provocative post on the Gospel Coalition Blog entitled Be Careful How You Pray.

In it he quotes Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs. Here is a sample from the post, one of two comments from Burroughs:

There are many things which you desire as your lives, and think that you would be happy if you had them, yet when they come you do not find such happiness in then, but they prove to be the greatest crosses and afflictions that you ever had, and on this ground, because your hearts were immoderately set upon them before you had them.

You can read the rest of the post here. It’s not long and definitely worth your time.