“A Young Man in Christ” #4: Truly trusting
From A Good Start by C. H. Spurgeon, Chapter 1 (“A Young Man in Christ”).
A man in Christ is manly because he is trustful in Providence. If he be what I mean by a man in Christ, he believes that whatever happens here below is ordered and arranged by his great Lord and Master; so that when anything occurs which surprises, and, perhaps, perplexes him for the moment, he feels that it is still not an accident nor an unforeseen calamity beyond the Divine control. He believes that his Lord has a bit in the mouth of the tempest and reins up the storm. He is sure that Jesus, as King of kings, sits in the cabinets of princes, and rules all the affairs of mankind. Therefore he is not afraid of evil tidings, his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. If he live as a Christian should live, when others are seized with sudden panic he can wait, for he knows that there is no panic in Heaven, and that all things are rightly arranged and ordered by the powers above; and committing his present case into the hand of his Lord Jesus, he both patiently waits and quietly hopes. He is thus enabled to become master of the situation, for he I cool and calm when others are confused. He is a match for any man in the hour of perplexity, for he has flung his burden off his shoulder and left it with his Lord; and now he can go forward with a clear and placid mind to do his business, or to leave it undone, as the peril of the moment demands. A Christian man, because he trusts in the God of providence, quits himself like a man, and is not afraid.
And he is manly because, being a Christian, he does not wince when he is opposed, for he expects opposition. That man who, being in Christ, never meets with any opposition, must either be very happily circumstanced, or he must somewhat conceal his religion; for from the first day until now it has been found that those who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution. The man in Christ, being a true man, does not fret about that. If a joke is passed off at his expense, he knows that it breaks no bones. There is a little laughter over a story, more witty than true, and perhaps a sneer or two caused by a very nasty sarcasm; be he bargained for that, he discounted that matter, when he became a Christian. Nay, he has by degrees become so accustomed to it that if it pleases other people it does not annoy him. And, now and then, when a sting does go rather near the heart, he is accustomed to sing to himself very quietly -
“If on my face, for Thy dear name,
Shame and reproach shall be,
I’ll hail reproach and welcome shame,
For Thou’lt remember me.”
And so he gets to be a man all round; and it frequently happens that, as he pursues the even tenor of his way, those who at first despised him come to respect him. Men trust him, and finding him upright, they honour him, yea, and honour him for his fidelity to his convictions; for even with those who care not for Christianity, there is something which makes them reverence the man who is truly what he professes to be. We have seen it so in others, and may each one of us live long enough to experience it in our own persons. Let but the Christian live on and live well, and he will live down opposition; or, if the opposition live, he will live above it and flourish all the more.