“The Lord trieth the righteous….” – Psalms 11:5
Looking back over the week, we have considered God’s partnership in our afflictions, the need for patience, fixing our focus, and changing our choices. Now, as an aid to being triumphant over our trials, we need to consider that they are sent by God, and therefore must serve a good purpose. We don’t need to know the reason– just knowing there is a reason, a good reason, should be enough to satisfy our inquiring mind. Concerning this matter, James Smith wrote:
“Where the Lord gives grace, He always tries it; therefore His own people must expect to pass through the fire. He will try our faith, of what sort it is; our love, of what strength it is. He will also try our patience and our constancy.
Let us not therefore be surprised at trials, nor let us be discouraged by them; for He tries out of pure love, with the best design, according to a wise rule, and at the fittest season.
He considers our frame, our circumstances, and our foes; He does nothing rashly or unkindly. He would not put us to pain if we did not need it; trials are preservatives or restoratives; they keep us back from evil, or are intended to bring us out of evil into which we have fallen.
Thy trials then are from the Lord; His wisdom selected, His love appointed, and His providence brings them about. If you ask, “Why, Lord, am I tried thus?” the answer is, “To humble thee, and to prove thee, and to do thee good at thy latter end.” Receive every trial as from God, and go to Him for strength to bear it, grace to sanctify it, and deliverance from it; and so all will be well. It is not for His pleasure, but for your profit, that you are so tried.”
Often the clouds of deepest woe,
A sweet love-message bear;
Dark though they seem, we cannot find
A frown of anger there.