Lord what is man? And what is a human heart – the heart even of thy saints – when proved and held up to view? “O heart, heart,” said John Berridge of himself, “what are thou? A mass of fooleries and absurdities, the vainest, craftiest, wickedest, most foolish thing in nature.” What deep-hidden evil, what selfishness, what pride, what harsh tempers and what worldliness, come out in a moment, when the stroke (of God’s chastening hand or divine providence) goes deep into the soul.
Of all the evils which are thus drawn forth from the heart of the saint, the worst, and yet the commonest, are hard thoughts of God. We wonder why He should treat us thus. We suspect His love and faithfulness. Our hold of His grace seems to loosen as if at times it would wholly give way.
We are like Jonah with his withered gourd. We think we do well to be angry even unto death. God does not seem the same loving God as when first we believed and tasted forgiveness from His gracious hands. Alas, the treachery of our hearts has been at length discovered. We find that we were not “serving God for nought.” May he not in disapproval ask us, “Doest thou well to be angry?” Would not this question close our lips forever? Doest thou well to be angry or despondent when God has forgiven all thine iniquities and removed them from thee as fare as the East is from the West?
Doest thou well to be angry when thou are delivered from the wrath to come, as well as from this present evil world, and safely lodged within the cleft of the rock with Jesus thy companion there?
Doest thou well to be angry with the Father’s love is thine assured portion, and the kingdom of the Son thine inheritance forever?
Doest thou well to be angry seeing the night is far spent and Christ’s return is nigh at hand?