Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“Does Job fear God for nothing?”
This wicked question came from Satan against Job, an upright man. But there are many in our day about whom this question could be asked for good reason, for they love God in a certain way because he prospers them materially. But, if things went poorly with them, they would give up all their boastful faith in God. They only love God in their poor, fleshly way, but, if they experience adversity, they immediately rebel against the Lord. They love what the host serves to them on the table, but they don’t love the host himself; they love what’s in the cupboard but not the master of the house.
As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward primarily in the next life and to endure hardship in this one. The promise of the old covenant was prosperity, but the promise of the new covenant is adversity. Remember Christ’s words: “Every branch in me that doesn’t bear fruit, he takes away (and burns); and every branch that bears fruit, he”– what? “He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” If you bring forth fruit, you will have to endure affliction.
“But!” you say, “that’s nothing to look forward to, is it?” Ah, but this affliction works out such precious results that the Christian who is subjected to it learns to rejoice in it because, even as his tribulations are many, his consolations in Christ are even more plentiful. Rest assured, if you are a child of God, you will be no stranger to discipline. Sooner or later every bar of gold must pass through the fire. Don’t be afraid of that, but, rather, rejoice that such fruitful times are in store for you, for in them you will be weaned from this earth and made fit for heaven. When you come to the place where you feel you actually do serve God for nothing—that is, nothing but him— you will then truly rejoice because your reward is infinite. [M&E]