Wednesday, February 22, 2012

God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered

Spurgeons - Morning, February 18

   "Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me."       Job 10:2

   Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy graces.
   There are some of thy graces which would never be discovered if it were
   not for thy trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so
   grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too often like a
   glow-worm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of
   surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star--not to be seen in the
   sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of
   adversity. Afflictions are often the black foils in which God doth set
   the jewels of his children's graces, to make them shine the better. It
   was but a little while ago that on thy knees thou wast saying, "Lord, I
   fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith." Was not this
   really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?--for how
   canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy faith is exercised?
   Depend upon it, God often sends us trials that our graces may be
   discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence. Besides,
   it is not merely discovery, real growth in grace is the result of
   sanctified trials. God often takes away our comforts and our privileges
   in order to make us better Christians. He trains his soldiers, not in
   tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to
   forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams,
   and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile
   with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. Well, Christian, may not
   this account for the troubles through which thou art passing? Is not
   the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Is not this
   the reason why he is contending with you?
   "Trials make the promise sweet;
   Trials give new life to prayer;
   Trials bring me to his feet,
   Lay me low, and keep me there."

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