Evening, January 22, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” — Job 1:9
This was the nefarious question of Satan concerning that upright man of old, but there are many in today of whom it might be asked with justice, for they love God after a fashion because he prospers them; but if things went poorly with them, they would give up all their boasted faith in God. If they can clearly see that since the time of their supposed conversion the world has gone prosperously with them, then they will love God in their poor selfish way; but if they endure adversity, they rebel against the Lord. Their love is the love of the table, not of the host; a love to the cupboard, not to the master of the house. As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward in the next life, and to endure trials in this. 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 does not bear fruit–What? “He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” If you want to bring forth fruit, you will have to endure affliction. “Alas,” you say, “that is a terrible prospect!” But this affliction works out such valuable results, that the Christian who is the subject of it must learn to rejoice in tribulation, because as his tribulation abounds, so also his comfort abounds in Christ Jesus. Rest assured, if you are a child of God, you will be no stranger to the rod. Sooner or later every bar of gold must pass through the fire. Do not fear, but rather rejoice that such fruitful times are in store for you, for in them you will be weaned from earth and made ready for heaven; you will be delivered from clinging to the present, and made to long for those eternal things which are so soon to be revealed to you. When you feel that in the present you serve God for no reward, you will then rejoice in the infinite reward of the future.