by J.C. Ryle
"Holiness, Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots" 1879
Some professors are always trying to keep in with the world. They are ingenious in discovering reasons for not separating decidedly, and in framing plausible excuses for attending questionable amusements, and keeping up questionable friendships.
One day you are told of their attending a Bible class; the next day perhaps you hear of their going to a ball!
One day they fast, or go to the Lord’s table and receive the sacrament; another day they go to the racecourse in the morning, and the opera at night!
One day they are almost in hysterics under the sermon of some sensational preacher; another day they are weeping over some novel!
by Vance Havner
Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord. James 5:11.
The Lord turned the captivity of Job and blessed the latter end of his life more than the beginning, but all that is not the climax of the book. It is not an anticlimax but it is a sort of postscript. Job arrived at the peak when he saw God. After that, whether he got well or not, or whether or not he recovered his prosperity, was incidental. He had got through to God. The main purpose of God was not to explain Job’s suffering or suffering in general. Job got through to illumination, which is better than explanation.
God does not always restore our lost prosperity. Some of the greatest saints die in their poverty, their adversity and their boils. But if they have got through to God Himself, they have reached life’s greatest goal. What happens after that is incidental. They are ready to say:
“Now Thee alone I seek; Give what is best.”
Do not pine away in your adversity, seeking explanation or restoration of your former prosperity. Seek to know God and thenceforth enjoy Him forever, whatever happens to your belongings and your boils!
by Vance Havner