Wilhelmus á Brakel: A Great Increase

Reformation Heritage Books is offering an additional $10 off a 4 volume set of Wilhelmus á Brakel’s The Christian’s Reasonable Service which is good only through tomorrow. Simply enter this cupon code: Brakel2009 in the checkout field online, or mention it if ordering by phone. The last day for the discount is Saturday, August 15, 2009.

One of the faster ways to gain a full perspective on patience is being a parent. If one were to reflect on a time in childhood when denied a toy, a treat, or play it could rekindle a frumpy feeling. But as a parent one is fully aware of the value of patience when doling out toys and sweets. A good round of experience and reflection in this area, especially when dealing with impatient children is, ‘Wow. I wish I could have been more patient when I was three.’ And for good reason.

Á Brakel sees patience as one of the most gracious of all Christian dispositions: it is the most childlike. Through the spiritual gift of patience, one has meekness, willingness, self-denial, belief (true faith), hope, and love to God. Patience is near the most perfect language in all our conversation with the Lord. Non-believer’s cannot truly be patient (as a gift from God) to endure all things but can only resolve to endure, be stoic, and cross the fingers that all will be well.  Not so with the believer.

The believer’s patience is grounded in the promises of God. For one, the believer knows that affliction is temporary and will curiously work out for the good (2 Cor. 1:4; 7:6, 1 Pet. 3:4). For another, a Christian’s suffering is sure to pass leaving confidence that there will be good spiritual fruit, particularly in their relationship with the Lord (Heb. 12:11; Ps. 119:75).The proof is not so much in the pudding as it is in the eating.

Patience, says á Brakel, is the best evidence one has of genuine faith, both to themselves and to their neighbor. “Consider that the way to heaven is the way of affliction, and that we cannot walk upon this way except by way of patience.”

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