A Measure Above | John Newton

In a letter to a friend, John Newton helped him view things as they really are.

To see life through spiritual eyes is uplifting – no matter the storm.

“Encompassed as we are with snares, temptations, and infirmities, it is possible (by His promised assistance) to live in some good measure above the world—above the influence of its cares, its smiles, or its frowns.

Our citizenship is in heaven—we are not at home—but only reside here on earth for a season, to fulfill our appointed service.

The Lord, whom we serve, has promised that He will guide us by His wisdom, strengthen us by His power, and comfort us with the light of His countenance, which is better than life. Every temporal blessing we receive from Him, is a token of His favor, and a pledge of that far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, which He has reserved for us in heaven.

Oh! to hear Him say at last, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!’ will be rich amends for all that we can lose, suffer, or endure, for His sake!”

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined—what God has prepared for those who love Him!”

~1 Corinthians 2:9


Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T’was grace that brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home,
And grace will lead us home.

~John Newton, Amazing Grace

You can read the entire letter here. Several of John Newton’s letters are posted at Grace Gems. And, if you’ve got a long commute, it would be encouraging to listen to  John Piper’s talk on John Newton.

Mail from John Newton

letters

“I think the Lord has seen fit to visit you with much … [illness] of late; I say He has seen fit, for all our trials are under His immediate direction, and we are never in heaviness without a need-be.” 

Hymn writer and pastor John Newton shared that consolation in a letter to an ailing friend in 1768.

One of the things that encourages me most about John Newton’s letters is his confidence that the Lord is the one who orchestrates life’s events – even illness. I find great comfort in that.

The man who brought us Amazing Grace and Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken went on to write:

“How happy is the state of a believer, to have a sure promise that all shall work together for good in the end, and in the meantime a sure refuge where to find present relief, support, and protection!

I trust He does and will give you strength equal to your day, and sweeten what would be otherwise bitter with the essence of His precious love. I hope soon to hear that you are restored to health, and that you have found cause to praise Him for the rod.

How … [comforting] is it, when trouble is near, to know that the Lord is near likewise, and to commit ourselves and all our cares simply to Him, believing that His eye is upon us, and His ear open to our prayers.

Under the conduct of such a Shepherd we need not fear: though we are called to pass through fire and water, through the valley of the shadow of death, He will be with us, and will shew Himself mighty on our behalf.”

You can read the entire letter here.