Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there.
Perhaps, oh tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop your graces. There are some of your graces which would never be discovered if it were not for your trials.
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 foils in which God sets the jewels of His children's graces, to make them shine the better.
Depend upon it, God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence.
God trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and causing them to make forced marches and do hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Is not this the reason He is contending with you?
Charles H. Spurgeon
I love Spurgeon. There is meat in everything he wrote. And preached.
I am coming to some new realizations in my walk with Jesus. The promise of the Old Testament is prosperity. The promise of the New is adversity. I'm not sure I understand the ins and outs of that yet, but by experience I know that trials do result in growth. Being more like Him. Were it not for the losses in my life, the absolute need for dependence on the Lord for daily bread, the realization that He is the one Who "will bring forth my righteousness as the light and my judgment as the noonday," when falsely accused -- not my own defense of myself -- I would be a very shallow vessel for His love.
I am learning more and more that the adversity, trials, contending.....all are gifts to gently steer me into deeper dependence on Jesus. Every day. Every hour. Every minute.
This IS the reason He contends with me.