Evening, July 25, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” — Hosea 5:15

Loss and adversity are frequently the means which the great Shepherd uses to fetch home his wandering sheep; like fierce dogs they worry the wanderers back to the fold. There is no making lions tame if they are too well fed; they must be weakened down from their great strength, and their appetites must be curbed, and then they will submit to the lion tamer’s hand; likewise we have often seen the Christian rendered obedient to the Lord’s will by scarceness of bread and hard labor. When rich and increased in possessions many believers carry their heads much too loftily, and speak quite boastfully. Like David, they flatter themselves, “My mountain stands fast; I shall never be moved.” When the Christian grows wealthy, has a good reputation, has good health, and a happy family, he too often invites Mr. Self Security to feast at his table, and then —  if he is a true child of God — there is a rod being prepared for him. Wait awhile, and it may be you will see his foundation melt away as a dream. There goes a portion of his estate–how soon the land and houses change hands. That debt, that dishonored bill–how fast his losses roll in, where will they end? It is a fortunate sign of spiritual life if when these embarrassments occur one after another he begins to be distressed about his backsliding, and turns himself back to his God. Blessed are the waves that wash the mariner upon the rock of salvation! Losses in business are often conducive to our soul’s enriching. If the Christian will not come to the Lord with full hands, he shall come empty. If God, in his grace, finds no other means of making us honor him among men, he will cast us into the deep; if we fail to honor him on the pinnacle of riches, he will bring us into the valley of poverty. But don’t grow faint, heir of sorrow, when you are in this way rebuked; rather, recognize the loving hand which disciplines, and say, “I will arise, and go to my Father.”