My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations [or “trials”], knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
[Jas 1:2-3 WEB]
For patience, when the rough winds blow!
For patience, when our hopes are fading,
When visible things all backward go,
And nowhere seems the power of aiding!
God still enfolds thee with His viewless hand,
And leads thee surely to the Fatherland.
~ N. L. FROTHINGHAM ~ (from the German)
We have need of patience with ourselves and with others; with those below, and those above us, and with our own equals; with those who love us and those who love us not; for the greatest things and for the least; against sudden inroads of trouble, and under our daily burdens; disappointments as to the weather, or the breaking of the heart; in the weariness of the body, or the wearing of the soul; in our own failure of duty, or others’ failure toward us; in every-day wants, or in the aching of sickness or the decay of age; in disappointment, bereavement, losses, injuries, reproaches; in heaviness of the heart; or its sickness amid delayed hopes. In all these things, from childhood’s little troubles to the martyr’s sufferings, patience is the grace of God, whereby we endure evil for the love of God.
~ E. B. PUSEY ~
I will seek the lost and bring back the strays; I will bandage the injured and strengthen the sick, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them – with judgment!
[Ezek 34:16 NET]
It is not much
To give a gentle word or kindly touch
To one gone down
Beneath the world’s cold frown,
And yet who knows
How great a thing from such a little grows?
Some brother upward climbs
And hope again
Uplifts its head, that in the dust had lain,
Gives place to morning’s light.
~ E. H. Divall ~
My Father, may I not sorrow so that I fail to comfort the sorrowing, and may I not be so happy that I fail to see that others need to be glad. I thank thee for thy providences. May I serve thee in helping others to brighter lives. Amen.
“All the rest of the bull – he must bring outside the camp to a ceremonially clean place, to the fatty ash pile, and he must burn it on a wood fire.”
[Lev 4:12 NET]
So they took Jesus, and carrying his own cross he went out to the place called “The Place of the Skull” (called in Aramaic Golgotha). There they crucified him.—For the bodies of those animals whose blood the high priest brings into the sanctuary as an offering for sin are burned outside the camp. Therefore, to sanctify the people by his own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the camp. We must go out to him, then, outside the camp, bearing the abuse he experienced.—To share in his sufferings.
But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice and be glad.—For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.
[John 19:16-18, Heb 13:11-13, Phil 3:10, 1 Pet 4:13, 2 Cor 4:17]
I will meet with you there, and from above the atonement lid, from between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will command you for the Israelites.
[Exod 25:22 NET]
After a child of God has enjoyed something of the goodness and mercy of God revealed in the face of his dear Son, he may wander from his mercies, stray away from these choice gospel pastures, and get into a waste-howling wilderness, where there is neither food nor water; and yet, though half-starved for poverty, has in himself no power to return. But what has brought him for the most part into this state? Forgetfulness of the mercy seat; and as the Lord meets his people only there, a gradual estrangement from him.
But in due time the Lord seeks out this wandering sheep, and the first place he brings him to is the mercy seat, confessing his sins and seeking mercy. Faithful to his own word, once more the Lord meets him there; and O what a meeting! A penitent backslider and a forgiving God! O what a meeting! A guilty wretch drowned in tears, and a loving Father falling upon his neck and kissing him! O what a meeting for a poor, self-condemned wretch, who can never mourn too deeply over his sins, and yet finds grace super-abounding over all its aboundings, and the love of God bursting through the cloud, like the sun upon an April day, and melting his heart into contrition and love!
But this is not all. The Lord is pleased sometimes to show his dear people the evils of their heart, to remove by his Spirit and grace that veil of pride and self-righteousness which hides so much of sinful SELF from our eyes, and to discover what is really in us—the deep corruptions which lurk in our depraved nature, the filth and folly which is part and parcel of ourselves, the unutterable baseness and vileness so involved in our very being. Now this in itself would drive us from the throne of grace. “Can God dwell here?” is the sinner’s feeling. “Can I be possessed of the fear of God when such thoughts and feelings overflow my mind, and seem to fill me as if with the very dregs of hell?” Yet still he is drawn from time to time to the throne of grace to confess these sins before the mercy seat, for he cannot, dare not, stay away from it; and again God is true to his word—“There will I meet with you.” There once more he reveals a sense of his mercy and goodness, and once more shows that, whatever the sinner be in himself, he is faithful to his own promise.
One night in Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream. God said, “Tell me what I should give you.”
[1 Kgs 3:5 NET]
Solomon was beginning his reign. God came to him in a dream. The question the Lord asked Solomon is one He asks every young person. Some one says, “If God gave me my choice out of all the things that people desire, I would make a wise choice too.”
God does give to you the same privileges, your choice of all good things. Does not Christ say, “Ask, and ye shall receive”?
The days are like messengers from God, and we do not know what they carry and offer to us. We take a few simple things and let the divine messenger pass on.
“But why must I make a choice?” some one asks. “God is wiser than I am. He knows what is the best thing in all the world for me. Why does He not Himself choose for me, giving me that which is best? Why must I in my ignorance and inexperience choose for myself?”
One of the strange things about our life is that we must make our own choice. Even God cannot choose for the feeblest of His children.