Suffering Christians Encouragement for those who are hurting

19Jun/07Off

Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING

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Saturday, October 7, 2006

MORNING:

"Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant?"
-- Numbers 11:11

Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our
faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of
fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the
diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can
only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the
business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord's
faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits
are depressed, and the light of our Father's countenance is hidden. A
faith which can say, in the direst trouble, "Though he slay me, yet
will I trust in him," is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts his
servants to glorify himself, for he is greatly glorified in the graces
of his people, which are his own handiwork. When "tribulation worketh
patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope," the Lord is
honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of
the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the
grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet
perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the
warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and
power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which
his vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend
also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to
bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in
heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth?
Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after
toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of
the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question
with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day
long.

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