Troubles! Trials! Afflictions!

(by Spurgeon)

"Why have you brought this trouble on your servant?"
- Numbers 11:11

Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith.
If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is
afraid of fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be
touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test.

It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are
true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but
that is true faith which holds by the Lord's faithfulness when
friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are
depressed, and the light of our Father's countenance is hidden.

A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, "Though he slay me,
yet will I trust in him," is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts
his servants to glorify himself, for he is greatly glorified in
the graces of his people, which are his own handiwork.

When "tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and
experience, hope," the Lord is honored by these growing virtues.
We would never know the music of the harp if the strings were
left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not
trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of
cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth
of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and
power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through
which his vessels of mercy are permitted to pass.

Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must
be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights.
Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had not known
the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not peace be
sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil? Will
not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the
glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the
question with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse
upon it all day long.