Be patient, O sufferer!
“Although I have afflicted you, . . . I will afflict you no more.” (Nahum 1: 12)
There is a limit to our affliction. God sends it and then removes it. Do you complain, saying, “When will this end?” May we quietly wait and patiently endure the will of the Lord till He comes. Our Father takes away the rod when His purpose in using it is fully accomplished.
If the affliction is sent to test us so that our words would glorify God, it will only end once He has caused us to testify to His praise and honor. In fact, we would not want the difficulty to depart until God has removed from us all the honor we can yield to Him.
Today things may become “completely calm” (Matt. 8: 26). Who knows how soon these raging waves will give way to a sea of glass with seagulls sitting on the gentle swells?
After a long ordeal, the threshing tool is on its hook, and the wheat has been gathered into the barn. Before much time has passed, we may be just as happy as we are sorrowful now.
It is not difficult for the Lord to turn night into day. He who sends the clouds can just as easily clear the skies. Let us be encouraged— things are better down the road. Let us sing God’s praises in anticipation of things to come.
“The Lord of the harvest” (Luke 10: 2) is not always threshing us. His trials are only for a season, and the showers soon pass. “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Ps. 30: 5). “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4: 17). Trials do serve their purpose.
Even the fact that we face a trial proves there is something very precious to our Lord in us, or else He would not spend so much time and energy on us. Christ would not test us if He did not see the precious metal of faith mingled with the rocky core of our nature, and it is to refine us into purity and beauty that He forces us through the fiery ordeal.
Be patient, O sufferer! The result of the Refiner’s fire will more than compensate for our trials, once we see the “eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Just to hear His commendation, “Well done” (Matt. 25: 21); to be honored before the holy angels; to be glorified in Christ, so that I may reflect His glory back to Him— ah! that will be more than enough reward for all my trials.
Just as the weights of a grandfather clock, or the stabilizers in a ship, are necessary for them to work properly, so are troubles to the soul. The sweetest perfumes are obtained only through tremendous pressure, the fairest flowers grow on the most isolated and snowy peaks, the most beautiful gems are those that have suffered the longest at the jeweler’s wheel, and the most magnificent statues have endured the most blows from the chisel. All of these, however, are subject to God’s law. Nothing happens that has not been appointed with consummate care and foresight.
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