Category Archives: David Brainerd

Why Has God Left Us Here? Learning from the Life of David Brainerd

Not to sit and dream of heaven! Not to make ourselves as comfortable as we can! Not to have as much fun as possible!

We are here to count for Him! to bring Him glory! To use our resources to cry out to a sleeping and ungodly world to turn back to God.

Most of us who are reading these words have a certain amount of physical and emotional energy. We have a certain amount of health. We have a certain amount of "discretionary" time. We have a certain amount of available money. These things represent resources that God is allowing us to have stewardship over.

How easy it is to squander these resources!

"Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." (1 Cor 4:2)

We have opportunities to use these resources only for a limited time! How much time? None of us knows! But we are warned:

“15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” (Eph 5:15-16)

David Brainerd, a passionate missionary to the American Indians, is often quoted because of his intense fervor and single-minded commitment to God. He wrote the following words in his journal:

"A seasonable, steady performance of secret duties in their proper hours, and a careful improvement of all time, filling up every hour with some profitable labour, either of heart, head, or hands, are excellent means of spiritual peace… ‘Then (says the holy psalmist) shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect to all thy commandments.’ Filling up our time with and for God, is the way to rise up and lie down in peace."

Brainerd (son-in-law of the great Jonathan Edwards), like us, had no idea how much time he had to "fill up… with and for God." He died in 1747 at the age of 29… 29! How little time he had! But he made it count for God!

Here is another quote from his journal:

"…it is better to be alone than encumbered with noise and tumult. I find it very difficult maintaining any sense of divine things while removing from place to place diverted with new objects, and filled with care and business. A settled steady business is best adapted to a life of strict religion."

Regardless of how much time we have, soon it will be past. How soon? Remember Aslan’s answer to Lucy, "All times are soon." (Dawn Treader–Island of the Dufflepuds)

"For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (Jas 4:14)

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