Going Backward in Order to Go Forward Better

Christ’s work, both in the Church and in the hearts of Christians, often goes backward so that it may go forward better. As seed rots in the ground in the winter time, but after comes up better, and the harder the winter the more flourishing the spring, so we learn to stand by falls, and get strength by weakness discovered…. We take deeper root by shaking. And, as torches flame brighter by moving, thus it pleases Christ, out of His freedom, in this manner to maintain His government in us. Let us herein labour to exercise our faith, so that it may answer Christ’s way of dealing with us. When we are foiled, let us believe we shall overcome when we have fallen, let us believe we shall rise again.

Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2011), 95.

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