Life of Faith 10: Repentance, Confession, and Joy

By Richard Sibbes

Look back every day to the passage thereof.  See how we have passed along, see what sins have escaped you; then come at night to God, confess and be sorry for all, resolve against all, crave strength against all.  Oh it is a fearful state to sleep in sin; better sleep in a house of adders and venomous beasts.  See also and watch every morning; corruption does cleave to all our best actions; we pass no day so, but we have cause to say, Lord forgive us our sins.  By this course we shall keep our souls free, being ready for death.  We shall by our particular reckoning, every day clearing the score, be ready for our great general pardon, and when trouble comes, have only that to encounter with.

I beseech you, therefore, put this in practice.  Be sure with the day to clear the sins of the day; so shall you live a comfortable life, for death, for sickness, trouble, or whatsoever, all our business lying in heaven then.

—”If it be thus, we need not care how we sin: it is but every day to sue out a new pardon.”

Oh beware, if our pardon be sealed, there must be confession, sorrow for sin, resolution with full purpose to do so no more; there must be arraigning, condemning, and judging of ourselves for it, because whatsoever we would not have God to do, we must do it ourselves.  Our time in getting this ransom sealed, is for the most part according to our sin.  He that has such a resolution to sin every day, because sin is pardoned everyday, he may go long enough without pardon, at least comfort of his pardon.

For though pardon of sins be pronounced, yet God has the keeping of joy in his own hand.  As David had his sin pardoned,—by the judgement of faith he knew this much—yet Ps. 51:8, how does he pray for joy, and that God would heal the bones which he had broken! He roared all the day, and still felt a pain like the breaking of bones.  The joy of the Spirit had left him.  This he cries to have restored.

Thus though sin may be pardoned, yet the more we sin, with little repenting, the longer we shall be wanting of joy; or, it may be, go all our lifetime mourning without comfort in such a case.

 

 

 

 

 

 


This common domain work’s language modernized in few places by this site.

Excerpts of Mercy

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Richard Baxter

The Conviction of Sin

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Hugh Binning

Christ’s Righteousness

Christian Love: T.O.C.

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John Bunyan

Merciful Appeal to Sinners

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R.C. Chapman

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: T.O.C.

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Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Ch. 1

Thomas Manton’s Merciful Appeals

John Newton “Benefit of Affliction”

John Newton “Those mistakes, blemishes and faults in others”

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Richard Sibbes Sweet Drops:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Life of Faith: T.O.C.

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Wrestling a Good God

I have come to love the psalms. The psalms to me are a window into the heart of God, a window into seeing the connecting of His heart with ours.  I’ve been thinking a lot about depressed saints lately.  I would like to help, however I know for some, depression is no easy fix. I too have a strong bent to depression.  Most often after reading the psalms after thinking and meditating on God’s heart and character through reading the psalms, I am left more encouraged, less depressed.  His loving kindness and graciousness are communicated to me, and my joy is increased.   I am not trying to convince a depressed brother or sister of a miraculous or instant transformation from deep depression to great joy through reading the psalms, but I do believe there is an increased joy and decreased depression in the reading of and seeking of God through His psalms written for our encouragement.  We see the truth of struggle, defeat, mercy, forgiveness and restoration within the psalms.  We see the delusions of the perfect and the proud.  We see God and ourselves His children more accurately, which helps heal us from the lies we have believed.

 

Psalm 119: 68

You are good, and do good. Teach me your statutes.

 

In the psalms you see very often, the children of God approaching God in a certain way. “I know You are good God, and You do good.  Now do good for me, teach me your statues.  I want to know your goodness personally to me.  Teach me personally of your goodness to me.”  Or “ I know You are merciful, show mercy to me, reveal Your mercy to me, in a way personally understood and sensed by me, by my heart.”

God, I am convinced, is desirous that all His children come to Him and wrestle with Him in faith as Jacob did. Those who are convinced of His mercy, wrestle with Him in prayer, in seeking, in reading, in meditating on Him, to find and experience more of His mercy and goodness to them.

All God’s redeemed children are credited with the righteousness and goodness of Jesus. In a sense we are always close to God, and He to us, through Jesus.  In a practical felt way we may however feel and sense a great distance between us and our Lord.  I have noticed when I am the most depressed; the more likely I am to believe the lies of hopelessness, communicated to us by the enemy.  These are the times when wrestling with God, in His word and with His Spirits gentle help is most needed.  More exposure to God is needed to compensate for the extra resistance to His message of good news and hope, because of my depression.  More exposure to Him and His truth is needed to combat the lies of the enemy.  God is good, God is merciful, may we wrestle with Him, trusting Him, as long as it takes to know and sense His goodness and mercy to us more.

Hope of the Dance

There is a Hope.  A hope of freedom, peace, and joy resulting in singing and dancing.  The spring of this freedom and peace flows gently and most often must be sought.  Even after tasting and fully receiving this thirst-quenching and satisfying stream, care must be taken to keep {going to} this stream {of living water}.  Finding it’s renewal and restoration.

Psalm 87:7

 Those who sing as well as those who dance say, “All my springs are in you.”

Those of us who of a more melancholy nature do have a sure hope of singing and dancing.  Truly singing and dancing in freedom, peace, and joy.  This sure Hope is found in our only true Hope, Jesus. This is the stream and spring that can and will produce true singing and dancing.  God Himself, under our Shepherds watchful eye, His Spirit within us producing springs and streams of joy and peace.

You may say. “I don’t seem to have these streams of joy and peace coming forth from within me.” “My streams of joy and peace seem stopped up.”   “I cannot say I am singing and dancing with joyful exclamations, “All my springs are in you.”   This writer would not add sorrow to God’s children feeling this way, by questioning the reality of your faith, or Jesus within you.  Depression and lack of joy is where our enemies revels in attacking, not me.  There is hope for singing and dancing with joy still though.  May we fight the enemy and His lies of hopelessness, through hope.  May we turn our eyes, minds and hearts to Jesus, may we place ourselves in His care.  All our springs our in Jesus, whether they seem streams of sorrow or of gladness, from our Man of sorrows and gladness.  We can come to His garden of hope and communion.  I believe we come to this garden of streams and springs through His word and through  prayer.  We can rely on His gentle and helping Spirit to reveal His truth to us more clearly, and lessen the strength of the lies we tend to believe, the lies that dampen the experience of His gladness.  This gentle spirits which is the streams, that flow from us like rivers, whether they be streams of joy or streams of sorrow and longing for God.  These streams bring us nearer to our lord, bringing is to greater change, to reveal His image in us more to others, that they may taste and long for Jesus also, becoming His.

We can look to hope in God, for a possibly, if so, slow and gradual defeat of the enemy through hope.  We can look to an increase in our singing and dancing, here. We can look to our sure hope of singing and dancing in our full change, our full redemption.  We can begin meditating more and more on this sure future hope of full peace and joy.  Even if this seems our only hope for ever singing and dancing, let this be our sure hope, on which we think on and meditate on with faith and anticipation.  Thinking on the day our melancholy will be left with our natural bodies, and we will begin to dance and sing with our Loved one, unhindered in ecstasy within His forever hold of love.

Hope of the Dance

There is a Hope.  A hope of freedom, peace, and joy resulting in singing and dancing.  The spring of this freedom and peace flows gently and most often must be sought.  Even after tasting and fully receiving this thirst-quenching and satisfying stream, care must be taken to keep {going to} this stream {of living water}.  Finding it’s renewal and restoration.

Psalm 87:7

 Those who sing as well as those who dance say, “All my springs are in you.”

Those of us who of a more melancholy nature do have a sure hope of singing and dancing.  Truly singing and dancing in freedom, peace, and joy.  This sure Hope is found in our only true Hope, Jesus. This is the stream and spring that can and will produce true singing and dancing.  God Himself, under our Shepherds watchful eye, His Spirit within us producing springs and streams of joy and peace.

You may say. “I don’t seem to have these streams of joy and peace coming forth from within me.” “My streams of joy and peace seem stopped up.”   “I cannot say I am singing and dancing with joyful exclamations, “All my springs are in you.”   This writer would not add sorrow to God’s children feeling this way, by questioning the reality of your faith, or Jesus within you.  Depression and lack of joy is where our enemies revels in attacking, not me.  There is hope for singing and dancing with joy still though.  May we fight the enemy and His lies of hopelessness, through hope.  May we turn our eyes, minds and hearts to Jesus, may we place ourselves in His care.  All our springs our in Jesus, whether they seem streams of sorrow or of gladness, from our Man of sorrows and gladness.  We can come to His garden of hope and communion.  I believe we come to this garden of streams and springs through His word and through  prayer.  We can rely on His gentle and helping Spirit to reveal His truth to us more clearly, and lessen the strength of the lies we tend to believe, the lies that dampen the experience of His gladness.  This gentle spirits which is the streams, that flow from us like rivers, whether they be streams of joy or streams of sorrow and longing for God.  These streams bring us nearer to our lord, bringing is to greater change, to reveal His image in us more to others, that they may taste and long for Jesus also, becoming His.

We can look to hope in God, for a possibly, if so, slow and gradual defeat of the enemy through hope.  We can look to an increase in our singing and dancing, here. We can look to our sure hope of singing and dancing in our full change, our full redemption.  We can begin meditating more and more on this sure future hope of full peace and joy.  Even if this seems our only hope for ever singing and dancing, let this be our sure hope, on which we think on and meditate on with faith and anticipation.  Thinking on the day our melancholy will be left with our natural bodies, and we will begin to dance and sing with our Loved one, unhindered in ecstasy within His forever hold of love.