Evening, September 3, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“The Lord tests the righteous.” — Psalm 11:5
All events are under the control of God’s foresight and care; consequently, all the trials of our outward life are traceable at once to the great First Cause. Out of the golden gate of God’s ordered fortress the armies of trial march forth in array, clad in their iron armor, and armed with weapons of war. All God’s blessings are doors to trial. Even our mercies, like roses, have their thorns. Men may be drowned in seas of prosperity as well as in rivers of affliction. Our mountains are not too high, and our valleys are not too low for temptations: trials lurk on all roads. Everywhere, above and below, we are assailed and surrounded with dangers. Yet no shower falls unpermitted from the threatening cloud; every drop has its order as it hurries to the earth. The trials which come from God are sent to prove and strengthen our virtues, and so at once to illustrate the power of divine grace, to test the genuineness of our qualities, and to add to their energy. Our Lord in his infinite wisdom and abounding love, sets so high a value upon his people’s faith that he will not screen them from those trials by which faith is strengthened. You would never have possessed the precious faith which now supports you if the trial of your faith had not been likened to fire. You are a tree that never would have rooted so well if the wind had not rocked you to and fro, and made you take firm hold upon the precious truths of the covenant grace. Worldly ease is a great adversary to faith; it loosens the joints of holy valor, and snaps the sinews of sacred courage. The balloon never rises until the cords are cut; affliction performs this sharp service for believing souls. While the wheat sleeps comfortably in the husk it is useless to man, it must be threshed out of its resting place before its value can be known. Therefore it is good that Jehovah tests the righteous, for it causes them to grow rich towards God.