Trials and hard places

A.B. Simpsonby A.B. Simpson

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God —1 Peter 5:6

The pressure of hard places makes us value life. Every time we come through such a trial, it is like a new beginning, and we learn better how much life is worth and make more of it for God and man. The pressure helps us to understand the trials of others and fits us to help and sympathize with them.

There is a shallow, superficial nature that gets hold of a theory or a promise and talks very glibly about the distrust of those who shrink from every trial. But the man or woman who has suffered much never does this. Knowing what suffering really means, he or she is very tender and gentle.

This is what Paul meant when he said, Death worketh in us, but life in you (2 Corinthians 4:12). Trials and hard places are needed to press us forward, even as the furnace fires in the hold of the mighty steamship give the force that moves the Piston, drives the engine and propels that great vessel in the face of winds and waves.

by A.B. Simpson

Our Careful Unbelief

Oswald Chambersby Oswald Chambers

…do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Matthew 6:25

Jesus summed up commonsense carefulness in the life of a disciple as unbelief. If we have received the Spirit of God, He will squeeze right through our lives, as if to ask, “Now where do I come into this relationship, this vacation you have planned, or these new books you want to read?” And He always presses the point until we learn to make Him our first consideration. Whenever we put other things first, there is confusion.

…do not worry about your life….” Don’t take the pressure of your provision upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is unbelief; worrying means we do not believe that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything but those details that worry us. Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the Word He puts in us? Is it the devil? No— “the cares of this world” (Matthew 13:22). It is always our little worries. We say, “I will not trust when I cannot see”— and that is where unbelief begins. The only cure for unbelief is obedience to the Spirit.

The greatest word of Jesus to His disciples is abandon.

by Oswald Chambers