by J.C. Ryle
We live in such a beauteous and pleasant world–we are so surrounded with so much that is smiling and mirthful–that if we were not often obliged to taste of sickness or trial or disappointments–we would soon forget our heavenly home and pitch our tents permanently in this Sodom.
Therefore it is that God’s people pass through great tribulations; therefore it is they are often called upon to suffer the sting of affliction and anxiety–or weep over the grave of those whom they have loved as their own soul.
It is their Father’s hand that chastens them! It is thus He weans their affection from things below, and fixes them on Himself. It is thus He trains them for eternity, and cuts the threads that bind their truant hearts to earth one by one.
No doubt such chastening is grievous for the time, but still it brings many a hidden grace to light, and cuts down many a secret seed of evil. We shall see those who have suffered most, shining among the brightest stars in the assembly of Heaven.
“Our light affliction endures but for a moment, and it works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!” 2 Corinthians 4:17
The purest gold is that which has been longest in the refiner’s furnace. The brightest diamond is often that which has required the most grinding and polishing. The saints are men who have come out of great tribulation–they are never left to perish in it.
The last night of weeping will soon be spent, the last wave of trouble will have rolled over us, and then we shall have a peace that passes all understanding!
We shall be at home forever with the Lord!
“Therefore comfort one another with these words!” 1 Thessalonians 4:18
by J.C. Ryle