Morning & Evening Daily Devotional Reading– October 7
by Charles H. Spurgeon, Revised and Edited by William C. Neff
“Why have you afflicted Your servant?”
Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles for good reason. First, he desires to try our faith. If our faith is worth anything, it will stand the test. Imitation metals are afraid of fire, but gold isn’t! Imitation gems hate to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It’s a poor faith that can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but true faith is that which holds fast by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and when the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden. A faith that can say in the worst of trouble, “Even if He kills me, yet will I trust in Him,” is a heaven-born faith.
The Lord also afflicts His servants to glorify Himself, and He is greatly glorified in the graces of His people which are His own handiwork. When “tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope,” the Lord is honored 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 crushed 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 cups of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend to heighten future joy. The shadows in the picture bring out the beauty of the light. The supreme blessing of Heaven will be greater because we have known the curse of earth’s sin and sorrow. Isn’t peace sweeter after a conflict? And rest more welcome after a time of hard labor? Won’t the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the glorified?
There are many other answers to the question of our earthly suffering. Let’s think about them throughout the day. [M&E]