In the world ye shall have tribulation. — John 16:33
Are you asking the reason for this, believer?
Look upward to your heavenly Father, and behold Him pure and holy. Do you know that you are one day to be like Him? Will you easily be conformed to His image? Do you not require much refining in the furnace of affliction to purify you? Will it be an easy thing to get rid of your corruptions, and make you as perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect?
Next, Christian, turn your eye downward. Do you know what foes you have beneath your feet? You were once a servant of Satan and no king will willingly lose his subjects. Do you think that Satan will let you alone? No, he will be always at you, for he “goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Expect trouble, therefore, Christian, when you look beneath you.
Then look around you. Where are you? You are in an enemy’s country, a stranger and a sojourner. The world is not your friend. If it is—then you are not God’s friend, for he who is the friend of the world—is the enemy of God. Be assured that you shall find foe-men everywhere. When you sleep, contemplate that you are resting on the battlefield; when you walk, suspect an ambush in every hedge. As mosquitoes are said to bite strangers more than natives, so will the trials of earth be sharpest to you.
Lastly, look within you, into your own heart and observe what is there. SIN and SELF are still within! Ah! if you had no devil to tempt you, no enemies to fight you, and no world to ensnare you, you would still find in yourself evil enough to be a sore trouble to you, for “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”
Expect trouble then but despond not on account of it, for God is with you to help and to strengthen you. He has said, “I will be with you in trouble; I will deliver you and honor you.”
A very present help. — Ps 46:1
Covenant blessings are not meant to be looked at only but to be appropriated. Even our Lord Jesus is given to us for our present use. Believer, you do not make use of Christ—as you ought to do. When you are in trouble, why do you not tell Him all your grief? Has He not a sympathizing heart, and can He not comfort and relieve you? But no—you are going about to all your friends—except your best Friend, and telling your tale everywhere, except into the bosom of your Lord.
Are you burdened with this day’s sins? Here is a fountain filled with blood—use it, saint, use it! Has a sense of guilt returned upon you? The pardoning grace of Jesus may be used again and again. Come to Him at once for cleansing! Do you deplore your weakness? He is your strength—why not lean upon Him? Do you feel naked? Come here, soul—put on the robe of Jesus’ righteousness. Do not stand looking at it but wear it. Strip off your own righteousness, and your own fears too—put on the fair white linen, for it was meant to wear.
Do you feel yourself sick? Pull the night-bell of prayer, and call up the Beloved Physician! He will give the cordial that will revive you. You are poor but then you have “a kinsman, a mighty man of wealth.” What! will you not go to Him, and ask Him to give you of His abundance, when He has given you this promise, that you shall be joint heir with Him, and has made over all that He is and all that He has to be your? There is nothing Christ dislikes more—than for His people to make a show-thing of Him, and not to use Him. He loves to be employed by us. The more burdens we put on His shoulders—the more precious will He be to us.
Morning and Evening - May 3
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.