He led them by a straight way.
Changing circumstances often causes the anxious believer to ask, "Why is this happening to me?" I looked for light, but darkness came; for peace, but faced trouble. I said in my heart, my mountain stands firm, I shall never be moved. Lord, You hide Your face, and I am troubled. Only yesterday I could read my title clearly; but today my evidences are blurred, and my hopes are clouded. Yesterday I could climb the mountain and view the landscape and rejoice with confidence in my future inheritance; today my spirit has no hopes, but many fears; no joys, but great distress. Is this part of God's plan for me? Can this be the way in which God would bring me to heaven?
Yes, it is even so. The eclipse of your faith, the darkness of your mind, the fainting of your hope--all these things are just parts of God's method of making you ready for the great inheritance, which you will soon enjoy. These trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith--they are waves that wash you further upon the rock--they are winds that steer your ship more quickly toward the desired haven. What David wrote then will be true of you: "he brought them to their desired haven" (verse 30). By honor and dishonor, by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace--by all these things your spiritual life is maintained, and by each of these you are helped on your way.
Do not think, believer, that your sorrows are out of God's plan; they are necessary parts of it. "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom."1 Learn, then, to "count it all joy . . . when you meet trials of various kinds."2
O let my trembling soul be still,
And trust Thy wise, Thy holy will!
I cannot, Lord, Thy purpose see,
Yet all is well since ruled by Thee.
1) Acts 14:22
2) James 1:2
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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.