“- – -show me wherefore thou contendest with me” (Job 10:2).
It is an undeniable fact that delightful things are often discovered only through great difficulty. That delightful thing might have to do with what is delivered to us, or developed within us, or divulged to us. In other words, trials can enable us to see what we couldn’t, change us into what we wasn’t, or give us what we didn’t have before. These things do not just happen. They are designed and delivered by the Lord. They come into our lives unwanted and uninvited. They are things we would never choose for ourselves. They are sent by God because He knows what we need. So, our difficulties have a duty– they have a divinely appointed mission to fulfill.
Spurgeon said, “Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too oft like a glowworm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star–not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black folds in which God doth set the jewels of His children’s graces, to make them shine the better.
It was but a little while ago that, on thy knees, thou wast saying, “Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith.”
Was not this really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?–for how canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy faith is exercised? Depend upon it. God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery; real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.
God trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers and climb mountains, and walk many a weary mile with heavy knapsacks on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not this the reason why He is contending with you?”
To be left unmolested by Satan is no evidence of blessing.