Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History
Patrick bore many trials in his ministry in Ireland. He suffered physically, emotionally, and spiritually, was persecuted, misrepresented, and maligned by erstwhile friends, and deeply conscious of his personal deficiencies.
But for all this Patrick had a deep conviction that his life of hardship was not the product of random chance but the careful planning of a sovereign God. It was this conviction and a consciousness of the purpose of God that gave him boldness, endurance, and joy in the hardships of the work of God. He knew that God had called him and that God was with him: “I am obliged by the Spirit” (Letter, sec. 10).
He writes, “In accordance with the measure of one’s faith in the Trinity one ought to be explicit and to make known God’s gift and His everlasting consolation without jibbing [balking] at the danger, and to spread God’s name everywhere confidently and fearlessly, so that even after my death I may leave a legacy to my brethren and sons whom I baptised in so many thousands in the Lord.”
Are you struggling to make sense of life? Are you disillusioned with the work of God, perhaps ready to give up? Pray for that “everlasting consolation,” that obligation of the Spirit not to shy away from the danger (or jib, as Patrick puts it), but to keep going. Pray that with Patrick you will be able to say, “This is my declaration before I die” (Confession, sec. 62), and with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
“When once you are rooted in Reality, nothing can shake you. If your faith is in experiences, anything that happens is likely to upset that faith; but nothing can ever upset God or the almighty Reality of Redemption; base your faith on that and you are as eternally secure as God. When once you get into personal contact with Jesus Christ, you will never be moved again.”—Oswald Chambers