John Newton's Letters

 All our concerns are in His hands

November 6, 1777.
My dear Sir,
You say you are more disposed to cry misery than hallelujah. Why not both together? When the treble is praise, and heart humiliation for the base, the melody is pleasant, and the harmony good. However, if not both together, we must have them alternately: not all singing, not all sighing—but an interchange and balance, that we may be neither lifted too high—nor cast down too low—which would be the case if we were very comfortable or very sorrowful for a long continuance.

But though we change—the Savior changes not! All our concerns are in his hands, and therefore safe. His path is in the deep waters; his thoughts and methods of conduct are as high above ours—as the heavens are high above the earth; and he often takes a course for accomplishing his purposes, which is directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe. He wounds—in order to heal. He kills—that he may make alive. He casts down—when he designs to raise. He brings a death upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects—when he is about to give us the desire of our hearts. These things he does to test us; but he himself knows, and has determined before-hand, what he will do. The test indeed, usually turns out to our shame. Impatience and unbelief show their ugly heads, and prompt us to suppose this, that, and the other thing, yes perhaps all things, are against us; to question whether He is with us and for us, or not. But it issues likewise in the praise of his goodness, when we find, that, over all our unkind complaints and suspicions—he is still working wonderfully for us, causing light to shine out of darkness, and doing us good in defiance of ourselves!