Antidote To Self Pity

Vance Havnerby Vance Havner

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

After Paul emerges from his height-to-depth experience of the third heaven and thorn in the flesh to rest in the sufficient grace of Christ, he takes pleasure in infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, distresses for Christ’s sake, for when he is weak then he is strong. He rejoices in the very weakness that drives him to Christ. He does not grumble, he glories. And he does not go on a spree of self-pity. What an opportunity to feel sorry for himself with this trouble that God would not take away!

If God grants you neither a third-heaven experience nor the removal of your thorn, rejoice in whatever He uses to bring you to simple daily dependence on Christ. But do not merely glory in infirmities. Finish the sentence…“that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” All else is incidental to that. Let us major on His strength, not on our weakness.

by Vance Havner

The Psychology of Impermanence

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria—enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers. Acts 9:31

Time may show that one of the greatest weaknesses in our modern civilization has been the acceptance of quantity rather than quality as the goal after which to strive. This is particularly evident in the United States. Costly buildings are constantly being erected with no expectation that they shall last more than one short generation. Not only in our architecture but almost everywhere else is this psychology of impermanence found. A beauty salon ad recently defined a term that has long needed clarification. It read: “Permanent Waves. Guaranteed to last three months.” So, permanence is the quality of lasting three months! These may be extreme cases, but they illustrate the transiency of men’s hopes and the brevity of their dreams apart from God.

The church also is suffering from a left-handed acceptance of this philosophy of impermanence. Christianity is resting under the blight of degraded values. And it all stems from a too-eager desire to impress, to gain fleeting attention, to appear well in comparison with some world-beater who happens for the time to have the ear or the eye of the public. This is so foreign to the Scriptures that we wonder how Bible-loving Christians can be deceived by it. The Word of God ignores size and quantity and lays all its stress upon quality. Christ, more than any other man, was followed by the crowds, yet after giving them such help as they were able to receive, He quietly turned from them and deposited His enduring truths in the breasts of His chosen 12. He refused a quick shortcut to the throne and chose instead the long painful way of the cross. He rejected the offers of the multitude and rested His success upon those eternal qualities, which He was able to plant in the hearts of a modest number of redeemed men. The ages have thanked God that He did.

by A.W. Tozer