Morning, February 12, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 1:5

There is a blessed relationship between suffering and comfort. In his foreseeing care, The Ruler of Providence bears a pair of scales–in this side he puts his people’s trials, and in that he puts their comforts. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of comfort in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trial is full, you will find the scale of comfort just as heavy. When the black clouds gather most, the light is the more brightly revealed to us. When the night lowers and the storm is coming on, the Heavenly Captain is always closest to his crew. It is a blessed thing, that when we are most cast down, it is then that we are most lifted up by the comfort of the Spirit. One reason is because trials make more room for comfort. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. God comes into our heart—he finds it full—he begins to break down our comforts and to make it empty; then there is more room for grace. The humbler a man remains, the more comfort he will always have, because he will be more fitted to receive it. Another reason why we are often most happy in our troubles, is this–then we have the closest dealings with God. When the barn is full, man can live without God: when the purse is bursting with gold, we try to do without so much prayer. But once our comforts are taken away, we want our God; once the idols are cleansed out of the house, then we are compelled to honor the Lord. “Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord.” There is no cry so good as that which comes from the bottom of the mountains; no prayer half as hearty as that which comes up from the depths of the soul, through deep trials and afflictions. Hence, they bring us to God, and we are happier; for nearness to God is happiness. Come, troubled believer, do not fret over your heavy troubles, for they are the messengers of  a great weight of mercy to come.