An Explanation of Trials
You are my refuge in the day of disaster. - Jeremiah 17:17
The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. It is true that God's Word says, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace";1 and it is a great truth that faith is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above. But life confirms that if the experience of the righteous is "like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day,"2 sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer's sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light.
There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the early stages of their Christian life; they have walked along the "green pastures" by the side of the "still waters." But suddenly they find that the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the promised land they have to endure the wilderness; in place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, "Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen." Do not say that if you are walking in darkness. The best of God's saints must drink the bitter potion; the dearest of His children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his heart in constant tune.
Perhaps the Lord gave you in the beginning a smooth and unclouded path because you were weak and timid. He moderated the wind on account of your weakness, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God's full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten branches of self-reliance, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Numbers 6
verse 2 Psalms 40, 41
As we become serious followers of Christ, our desire is to live loving, joyful, anxiety-free lives. Yet, loving our enemies most always seems impossible. Even being patient with family members can be a challenge. So, how do we put on the gentle garments of grace when we’re so busy battling our old behavior patterns?
The Fruitful Life by Jerry Bridges explores the nine aspects of the “fruit of the spirit” described by the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians (5:22-23): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Bridges explains how to practice the fruit in real life as we look to the Holy Spirit to mark our character by devotion to God-centeredness and God-likeness.
Click here to learn more about Truth For Life
From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.