The Benefits of Trials
Untested faith may be true faith, but it is sure to be small faith, and it is likely to remain little as long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: Tempests are her trainers, and bolts of lightning are her illuminators.
When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship does not move to its harbor; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too.
Let the winds rush and howl, and let the waters lift themselves, though the vessel may rock and her deck may be washed with waves and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway toward her desired haven.
No flowers are as lovely a blue as those that grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam as brightly as those that glisten in the midnight sky; no water tastes as sweet as that which springs up in the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity.
Tested faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness if you had not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God's strength if you had not been supported in the flood.
Faith increases in quality, assurance, and intensity the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.
Do not let this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: The full portion will be measured out to you in due course.
Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise Him for that degree of holy confidence you have now attained: Walk according to that rule, and you will still have more and more of the blessing of God, until your faith will remove mountains and conquer impossibilities.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 2 Kings 25
verse 2 Hebrews 7
Honest Evangelism: How to Talk About Jesus Even When It’s Tough
The changes taking place in Western cultures are both discouraging to Christians and, ironically, encouraging. More precisely, most of the changes themselves are discouraging, but they are calling forth a different set of changes that are encouraging. The discouraging changes are easy to list. Rising biblical illiteracy means that there is less and less cultural consensus around things like the Ten Commandments. Honor is an old-fashioned word, easily mocked; truth is increasingly flexible; the lust for power, success, and money has become more and more transparent and unchecked; dignity is old-fashioned; cruelty and vengeance are sometimes depicted as virtues.
Short, clear, realistic and humorous, this book will challenge you to be honest in your conversations about Jesus, help you to know how to talk about him, and thrill you that God can and will use ordinary people to change eternal destinies.
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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.