I finished reading the sermon entitled, "Insanity and Spiritual Songs in the Soul of a Saint" this morning, given by John Piper in 1992, about William Cowper, the hymn-writer. I recently read a sermon/short biography on Spurgeon by Piper. I have found that these are very encouraging to me..to read of saints gone before us, of their struggles, and yet to be reminded of how God used them and continues to use their lives today. I don't have the same struggles as William Cowper, and yet was still encouraged.
We, many of us, go through times of despair or darkness. Even if you don't, you know someone who does. Some go through deep dark times like William Cowper did. Others just struggle with despair from too much introspection, and for others it may just be brief moments of despair. May we be encouraged to press on and to cheer others on when they are struggling. May we be like John Newton, who never gave up on Cowper, but cheered him on til the end, even if it would have been easier to leave him behind.
I think we need to be reading the Word constantly, and yet also give time to study those who have gone before us...be encouraged by their struggles and how God was faithful to them, realize God will use us if we are willing to be used-despite our own struggles or failures, and be spurred on in our walk...whether to encourage someone else or to encourage our own souls. Be blessed today as you spend time with the Lord, as you come to know deeper who He is and who you are in Him, and the realization that you need Him for your very life and sustenance. Thank God that His mercies are new every morning!