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The previous post in this may be found here.

Humility is not hard thoughts about oneself. It is not constant self-deprecation. Even though such talk is negative, such talk is still self-centered. The “I” is the center of the universe.

Christian humility is to have God in the center, it is submission to the will of another. While one may claim to have such humility, the humility can only be truly tested in the midst of different circumstances:

The seventeenth property of an humble soul is this: an humble soul will bless God, and be thankful to God, as well under misery as under mercy; as well when God frowns as when he smiles; as well when God takes as when he gives; as well under crosses and losses, as under blessings and mercies: Job 1:21, ‘The Lord gives and the Lord takes, blessed be the name of the Lord.’ He doth not cry out upon the Sabeans and the Chaldeans, but he looks through all secondary causes, and sees the hand of God; and then he lays his hand upon his own heart, and sweetly sings it out, ‘The Lord gives, and the Lord takes, blessed be the name of the Lord.’ An humble soul, in every condition, blesses God, as the apostle commands, in the 1 Thes. 5:18, ‘In every thing give thanks to God.’

Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ”, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 3 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 24.

This is more foreign to us than we may realize. Consider the song, “Blessed be the Name of the Lord”:

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

It looks right, but note the words, “When the world’s all as it should be”. We sing these words and know exactly what he means: when the world is easy and comfortable for my present state. The only “as it should be” is what God gives to me. Adversity and prosperity are alike “as it should be”. The world is as God has fit it to me:


An humble soul is quick-sighted;
he sees the rod in a Father’s hand;
he sees honey upon the top of every twig,
and so can bless God;
he sees sugar at the bottom of the bitterest cup that God doth put into his hand;
he knows that God’s house of correction is a school of instruction;
and so he can sit down and bless when the rod is upon his back.
An humble soul knows that the design of God in all is
his instruction,
his reformation,
and his salvation.

This being true, we have a test to distinguish the ones who only pretend and profess and the ones who have taken this to heart:

You have many professors that are seemingly humble, while the sun shines, while God gives, and smiles, and strokes; but when his smiles are turned into frowns, when he strikes and lays on, oh the murmurings! the disputings! the frettings! and wranglings of proud souls! they always kick when God strikes

This does not mean that trials do not feel like trials — they do. Suffering is suffering; affliction is affliction; loss is loss. It is not laugh at death. This is not perversion or rebellion. This is simply submission to the will of God. God has brought it, God is wise. I will live with this.

The following section from the prayer “Spiritual Helps” is an appropriate ending here:

If my waywardness is visited with a scourge, 

enable me to receive correction meekly, 

to bless the reproving hand, 

to discern the motive of rebuke, 

to respond promptly, 

and do the first work. 

Let all thy fatherly dealings make me a partaker of thy holiness. 

Grant that in every fall I may sink lower on my knees, 

and that when I rise it may be to loftier heights of devotion. 

May my every cross be sanctified, 

every loss be gain, 

every denial a spiritual advantage, every dark day a light of the Holy Spirit, 

every night of trial a song.