Afflictions are Appointed!
(James Smith, "Comfort for Christians!")
"He will certainly accomplish what He has decreed for me — and He has many more things like these in mind!" Job 23:14
The trials of time were appointed in eternity. He who chose us unto eternal life — also planned the path by which we are to reach it! Nothing ever happens to us by 'chance'.
Our little trials,
our great troubles,
our heavy crosses,
our painful losses —
are all a part of God's plan!
Nor did He plan afflictions for us merely haphazardly — He planned them because He saw that we needed them. He intended to make them rich blessings to us.
Every cross is a mercy,
every loss is a gain,
every trouble is a blessing,
and every trial is a seed of joy!
We shall be better in the future — for what we suffer now. If we sow in tears — we shall reap in joy. A wet spring will introduce a glorious harvest. Many of our present tears will crystallize into pearls — and will be an ornament to us in glory!
And not only so, but the same love which planned our trials — also provides strength to bear them. Our choicest comforts will flow from them. Time reveals what God planned in eternity — and eternity will reveal what God had in view in all the trials of time!
Let us, then, bear our afflictions with patience, and seek grace to honor God in all that we suffer, as well as by all that we do. If we keep our eye fixed on glorifying God — He will order and arrange everything that happens to us, so that it shall work for our good. Nothing shall by any means hurt us. The darkest clouds shall bring showers of blessings; and our sharpest pains shall only introduce us to the sweetest joys!
Gracious Lord, help me not only to submit to Your appointments, but to be pleased with them — so pleased that if the turning of a straw would alter them — I would not turn it! Oh, give me grace — to rejoice in my afflictions!
"So that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them!" 1 Thessalonians 3:3