"Show me why You contend with me."
(The following is by Spurgeon.)
Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing
this to develop your graces.
There are some of your graces which would never
be discovered if it were not for your trials.
Do you not know that your faith never looks so
grand in summer weather as it does in winter?
Love is too often like a glow-worm, 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, but only to be discovered in the night of adversity.
Afflictions are often the black foils in which
God does set the jewels of His children’s
graces, to make them shine the better.
Real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.
God often takes away our comforts and our
privileges in order to make us better Christians.
He trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury,
but by turning them out and forcing them to difficult
marches and hard service. He makes them ford through
streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains,
and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of
sorrow on their backs.
Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles
through which you are passing? Is not the Lord bringing
out your graces, and making them grow? Is not this the
reason why He is contending with you?
"Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there."