Tag Archives: Francis Bourdillon

The suffering Christian!

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The suffering Christian!

(Francis Bourdillon, “Affliction, Light and Short!” 1864)

“For our¬†light¬†affliction, which is but for a¬†moment–is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we do not look at the things which are seen–but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary–but the things which are not seen are eternal!” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18¬†

Few people will call their present affliction¬†light–and few are disposed to call it¬†short. For while it lasts, it seems¬†hard¬†to bear–and a time of suffering generally appears¬†long. Yet the apostle Paul writes thus about his affliction: “Our¬†light¬†affliction, which is but for a¬†moment.”¬†

Paul’s afflictions were not, in themselves,¬†light–few men have gone through more hardships and trials than he did. Nor were they, in themselves,¬†short–for wherever he went he found them; they continued, more or less, to the end of his life.¬†

It was only when he¬†compared¬†his present affliction with the glory that was so soon to follow–that it seemed to him light and short. Then he could say, “Our¬†light¬†affliction, which is but for a¬†moment.”

We must always try to look at our afflictions in this way. If we look at them alone–they will be enough to overwhelm us! But if we think also, and even more, of the eternal¬†rest¬†and¬†happiness¬†and¬†glory¬†which lie ahead of us–then our view of our present afflictions will be greatly changed.¬†

“True,” we shall feel, “true, my sorrows are many; my sickness is sore; my pain is great; long have I lain upon a bed of suffering. Yet before me lies a home of perfect rest, where pain and sickness and sorrow cannot come. My Savior has¬†promised¬†it to me and has gone before to¬†prepare¬†it for me. In a little while, I shall be there!”¬†

With thoughts such as these,¬†the suffering Christian¬†should comfort himself–and thus weigh¬†present affliction¬†against¬†future glory. For what are all things here below, but short? Joys and sorrows, health and sickness, affliction and prosperity–all the things that¬†pain¬†and that¬†please, “the things which are seen”–all these things are but for a time.¬†

Whereas “the things which are not seen are eternal.” What we¬†hope¬†for, what Christ has¬†purchased¬†for us and gone before to¬†prepare¬†for us–that is forever! Our pains and sorrows will soon end–but our pleasures will never end! Our affliction is but for a little while–but our comforts, our Savior’s presence, our Heavenly home, will be ours always!¬†

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away–yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day!” 2 Corinthians 4:16


The sheep do not choose their own pasture!

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The sheep do not choose their own pasture!

(Francis Bourdillon, “Bedside Readings” 1864)

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures.¬†He leads me beside the still waters.”¬†Psalm 23:2¬†

“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”¬†That is, He supplies the needs of our souls. He . . .
  gives us the food of the Word of God, 
  strengthens us with His grace, and
  makes us to find our rest in Him. 

“He leads me beside the still waters.”¬†That is, He . . .
  refreshes us when we are weary, 
  revives our hearts by His promises, 
  cheers us by His presence, 
  gives us His Holy Spirit, and 
  enables us to rejoice in His salvation. 

Amidst all our trials and troubles–He comforts us and gives us fresh hope.¬†

Some may say, “Why should I have trouble at all? Why does the good Shepherd send me anything besides comfort and pleasure? Why am I¬†poor¬†or¬†sad¬†or¬†sick?”¬†

The sheep do not choose their own pasture–the shepherd chooses for them. In the same way, the disciple does not choose his own lot in life–it is¬†appointed¬†for him. His Shepherd knows best what is good for him. The best is not always what is the most pleasant at the moment–but what is most profitable in the end.

Our Shepherd sometimes leads us through what seem to us dry and stony places–but they lead to the Heavenly pastures! And even along the way, He feeds us and comforts us with all a shepherd’s care. Never is our Shepherd nearer to us, than when we are in need or danger.¬†

“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish–ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand!” John 10:27-28



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