The peace of Christ is so sweet, and the hope of the saint so glorious, that the Christian can even exult in present sufferings, since he has assurance that even these minister to his eternal joy. Affliction works out patience, and patience secures approval. Patient endurance of affliction secures the divine approval. The sense of the divine approval fills the soul with hope.
Patient sufferers have most of the Divine consolations, which abound as afflictions abound. It works needful experience of ourselves. This hope will not disappoint you, because it is sealed with the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of love. A right sense of God's love to us, will make us not ashamed, either of our hope, or of our sufferings for him.
We glory in tribulation as they are working for us the weight of glory. We glory in tribulations for righteousness' sake, which seemed to be the greatest objection against the saints' happiness.
Christians start out with smaller trials, but it is our wisdom to expect even greater trials than any we have yet met with. In order to prepare ourselves for further and greater trials, we should be concerned with approving ourselves well in present smaller trials, to keep up our spirits, keep hold of the promise, keep in our way, with our eye upon the prize.
Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God's throne.
Should the Lord visit us with trials and sickness, let us not forget that the exhortation speaks to us as to children, for our good. We must not faint under an affliction, be it ever so heavy and long, not be driven to despair, or use wrong means for relief. Let us watch and pray without ceasing, that we may not be left to ourselves.
“Be of good courage therefore, and God shall strengthen thy heart.”
Study References: Psalms 22:5, 71:1; Proverbs 10:28;
II Corinthians 4:17; Romans 5:4
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