Streams in the Desert
Discovering God's Graces
"Show 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 have been discovered if it were not for the trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too oft like a glowworm, 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 folds 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 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 weary mile with heavy knapsacks on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not this the reason why He is contending with you? --C. H. Spurgeon
To be left unmolested by Satan is no evidence of blessing.
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