Our Personal Paradise

Ryan McGraw over at Meet the Puritans posted a quote from Thomas Boston’s exposition of the tenth commandment that caught my eye: “Every one is to look on his own condition, as the paradise that God has set him down in; and though it be planted with thorns and briers, he must not look over the hedge; for thou shalt not covet” (Works, II, 336).

At first glance, we might think, “Paradise! He is not experiencing the same life that I am experiencing!” But we must understand, if we believe the Bible, that God has placed us exactly where He wants us, with exactly the gifts He wants us to have, with exactly the friends and enemies that He want us to experience, with exactly the resources with which He chose to bless us, and that He has done all of this to “cause all things to work together for good to those who love [Him], to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) As Calvinists we often preach God’s Sovereignty, while at the same time chafing at the providence that we are experiencing.

Now, don’t misunderstand me; I am not saying for you to pretend your circumstances are not sometimes painful, but I am encouraging you to take comfort in the fact that God is at work in your pain for your eternal good. He makes no mistakes in His dealings with His children. As Charles Spurgeon said so well:

It would be a very sharp and trying experience to me to think that I have an affliction which God never sent me, that the bitter cup was never filled by his hand, that my trials were never measured out by him, nor sent to me by his arrangement of their weight and quantity.”

I would encourage you to click on Meet the Puritans and read what Pastor McGraw has to say about Boston’s comment.


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