December 7, 2004
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy,
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Charles Spurgeon and his wife, Suzanna, were wonderful Christians and spiritual leaders. Suzanna was an invalid for ten of the most productive years of Spurgeon’s preaching ministry in London. He knew firsthand of the effects of terrible physical infirmities. He even struggled all his life with emotional issues and depression.
One Saturday evening, before the Lord’s Day, the couple was sitting by the fire. As they watched the logs burn, all of a sudden one squealed a bit. It sounded as though the gases in the fire and the log combined to make music. Spurgeon looked at his wife and said, “You know, it takes the fire to bring out the music.”
What’s true for the burning logs is just as true for our lives. I’m speaking of trials because so many people struggle with this on a day-to-day basis. But James said to “count it joy.” Joy comes when we understand what God is doing in the trials. It is when we understand that God is proving the reality of our faith and producing the durability of our faith.
We’re not masochists and idiots—you and I. We don’t frolic to funerals and put plastic smiles on our faces because we hurt. But because we know what God is doing in our lives, there is a smile and peace in the spirit.
If you are experiencing unspeakable hurt during this time in your life, I can understand how difficult this time of year can be. But remember that God uses the trails and tribulations of life for His glory and to mature us in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. I have learned more in the valleys than I ever learned on the mountaintops. And I wouldn’t go back and change it for anything in the world.
When life treats you unfairly, remember this: “Jesus, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame.” Ask God to help you experience the fullness of joy in His presence, and a peace that passes all understanding today.
THE CROWNS OF LIFE ARE FORGED IN THE
CRUCIBLES OF LIFE.