Morning, February 18, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Let me know why You contend with me.” — Job 10:2
Perhaps, O frustrated one, the Lord is doing this to develop your godly virtues. There are some of your virtues which would never be discovered if it were not for your trials. Do not you know, that your faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too often like a glowworm, showing little light except it 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 background in which God sets the jewels of his children’s virtues, to make them shine forth better. It was just a little while ago that on your knees you were 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 can you know that you have faith until your faith is implemented? Depend upon it; God often sends us trials that our virtues may be discovered, and that we may be certain of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery, real growth in grace is the result of sanctifying trials. God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians. He trains his soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and putting them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile wearing heavy backpacks of sorrow. Well, Christian, might this not account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not the Lord bringing out your virtues, and making them grow? Is not this the reason why he is contending with you?
“Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to his feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there.”