by J.C. Ryle
The Gospel of Luke” 1858
“And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.” Luke 1:6-7
Let us mark in this passage, the heavy trial which God was pleased to lay on Zachariah and Elizabeth. We are told that they had no child. The full force of these words can hardly be understood by a modern Christian. To an ancient Jew, they would convey the idea of a very weighty affliction. To be childless, was one of the bitterest of sorrows. (1 Samuel 1:10)
The grace of God exempts no one from trouble! As righteous as this holy priest and his wife were–they had a “crook in their lot.” (Ecclesiastes 7:13)
Let us remember this, if we serve Christ–and let us not count trials as strange things. Let us rather believe that a hand of perfect wisdom is measuring out all our portion; and that when God chastises us–it is to make us “partakers of His holiness.” (Hebrews 12:10)
If afflictions drive us nearer to Christ, the Bible, and prayer–then they are positive blessings. We may not think so now. But we shall think so, when we wake up in the eternal world.
by J.C. Ryle