God-sent Trials

Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me. The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.Psalm 118:13, 18

It is well to have grace enough to see that tribulation comes from God: He fills the bitter cup as well as the sweet goblet. Troubles do not spring out of the dust, neither doth affliction grow up from the ground, like hemlock from the furrows of the field; but the Lord Himself kindles the fiery furnace, and sits as a refiner at the door. Let us not dwell too much upon the part played by the devil, as though he were a power co-ordinate with God. He is a fallen creature, and his very existence depends upon the will and permission of the Most High. His power is borrowed, and can only be used as the infinite omnipotence of God permits. His wickedness is his own, but his existence is not self-derived. Blame the devil, and blame all of his servants as much as you will; but still believe in the mysterious but consoling truth that, in the truest sense, the Lord sends trials upon His saints. “Explain that statement,” say you. Oh, no; I am not called upon to explain it, but to believe it. A great many things, when they are said to be explained by modern thinkers, are merely explained away, and I have not yet begun to learn that wretched art. Remember how Peter told the Jews that he, whom God by His determinate counsel and foreknowledge decreed to die, even His son Jesus Christ, nevertheless taken by them with wicked hands, when they had crucified and slain Him. The death of Christ was pre-determined in the counsel of God, and yet it was none the less an atrocious crime on the part of ungodly men. The omnipotence and providence of God are to be believed; but man’s responsibility is not therefore to be questioned. Our afflictions may come distinctly from man, as the result of persecution or malice; and yet they may come with even greater certainty from the Lord, and may be the needful outcome of His special love to us. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


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