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Whoever heard of a calf weaning itself voluntarily? Afflictions are as nails driven by the hand of grace, which crucify us to the world. The farmer plows his land and the gardener prunes his trees to make them more fruitful. The jeweler cuts and polishes his diamonds to make them shine brighter. The refiner flings his gold into the furnace that it may come out purer. AND GOD afflicts His people to make them better. To thank God for mercies is the way to increase them; to thank God for miseries is the way to remove them.
Our hearts are fastened to the world
By strong and various ties;
But every sorrow CUTS A STRING
And urges us to rise!
- Milford Hall, Sr.
~~~ O ~~~
The sufferings of this present time are many, and they are painful. They cause us to weep and to be sad; they rob us of rest and sleep and make our days dreary and our nights weary; they take from us our mates and our dear children; they cause us to be troubled on every side, perplexed and cast down. BUT THEY ARE NOT WORTHY TO BE COMPARED WITH THE GLORY OF CHRIST WHICH SHALL BE REVEALED IN US!
The Bible is a book that records the activity of God, not man. It is not a record of man seeking and searching after God and striving to find him. It is the exact opposite. It is man going astray and God coming after him. As he came down in the garden of Eden at the beginning when man sinned, so he has been coming down ever since, and he came down supremely in the person of His only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
~~~ O ~~~
When you are in good health any form of religion may satisfy, but a dying soul wants more than sand to rest upon. You will want the Rock of Ages. Then let me assure you, that in light of the grave, all confidence, except confidence in the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, is a clear delusion.
- C.H. Spurgeon
~~~ O ~~~
It is a blessing to experience those times when all seems well and faith comes easily, when it seems the very air is filled with the presence of the Lord. Such times are a blessing, but they are no proof of true faith. Faith is proven when it endures the HARD times. When the heart is broken, the mind confused, and the body weak, then is faith put to the test and proven whether it be genuine. When faith survives those times when there is NO FEELING to verify it, NO EVIDENCE to confirm it, and NO FLESHLY ENERGY to sustain it, then and only then can we discover that we have that faith that is "the gift of God." God's gifts are "without repentance," and this is as true of faith as any of His other gifts. We know we have believed when we never repent of our faith, but believe in the very face of all that is opposed to faith. This is the trial and proof of faith.