You have lately been in the furnace!
(Letters of John Newton)
"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows!" John 16:33
You have lately been in the furnace — and are now brought safely out. I hope you have much to say of the grace, care, and skill of the great Refiner, who watched over you; and that you have lost nothing but dross. Let this experience be treasured up in your hearts for the use of future times. Other trials will come — but you have found the Lord faithful to His promise, and have good encouragement to trust Him again.
I doubt not, but you will have your share of trials; but when the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit, it sweetens what bitter things the Lord puts into our cup, and enables us to say, "None of these things move me!"
Yes, the life of faith is a happy life, and
if attended with conflicts — there is an assurance of victory;
if we sometimes get a wound — there is healing balm near at hand;
if we seem to fall — we are raised again; and
if tribulations abound — consolations shall abound likewise.
Is it not happiness — to have an infallible Guide, an invincible Guard, an almighty Friend! to be able to say of the Maker of heaven and earth, "He is my Beloved, my Shepherd, my Savior, and my Husband!"
Oh the peace that flows from believing . . .
that all events in which we are concerned, are under His immediate disposal;
that the hairs of our head are all numbered;
that He delights in our prosperity;
that there is a need-be, if we are in heaviness, and
that all things shall surely work for our good!
How happy to have such views of God's sovereignty, wisdom, love, and faithfulness — as will enable us to meet every painful dispensation with submission, and to look through the changes of the present life — to that unchangeable inheritance to which the Lord is leading us, when all evil shall cease, and where joy shall be perfect and eternal! "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away!" Revelation 21:4