I know that I am supposed to trust God. But how do I do that when everything is so dark? When I am in the middle of despair, how do I trust a God that I can barely see? What do I do when I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel but only glimpses of more trouble and anguish? This is the question that will close Chapter 12.
Flavel knows his Bible. He reminds us that we cannot resign our hearts to do anything. You get the idea that he formed this question, and then begins to tear it down a little. On the heart Flavel says, "We cannot resign it, and subject it to the will of God whenever we desire so to do." It is indeed our duty, but Flavel reminds us that Jesus said apart from Him we can do nothing. Not some things. Nothing!
Clearing up this Flavel journeys towards answering the question; but he has one more stop to make. We must become like David in 2 Samuel 15:25-26. "And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city; if I shall find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back again, and show me both it and his habitation: But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee: behold here am I, let him do to me as seemth good unto him". Until we have that attitude, says Flavel, we will "have no peace within". We must come with such submission to the Lord that says, "do with me as seems good to You". Now come the suggestions for us to consider:
- Labor to work into your hearts a deep and fixed sense of the infinite wisdom of God and your own folly and ignorance
- It is nothing but our pride and arrogance over-valuing our own understandings that makes resignation so hard
- Deeply consider the sinfulness and vanity of torturing your own thoughts about the issues of doubtful providence
- Set before you those choice Scripture patterns of submission to the Lord's will in as deep, yea, much deeper points of self-denial than this before you, and shame yourselves out of this quarreling attitude with Providence
- Study the singular benefits and advantages of a will resigned up and melted into the will of God
- Think how repugnant an unsubmissive attitude is both to your prayers and professions