Trouble Teaches

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).

The question often comes, “Why didn’t He help me sooner?”  It is not His order.  He must first adjust you to the trouble and cause you to learn your lesson from it.  His promise is, “I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.”  He must be with you in the trouble first all day and all night.  Then He will take you out of it.  This will not come till you have stopped being restless and fretful about it and become calm and quiet.  Then He will say, “It is enough.”

God uses trouble to teach His children precious lessons.  They are intended to educate us.  When their good work is done, a glorious recompense will come to us through them.  There is a sweet joy and a real value in them.  He does not regard them as difficulties but as opportunities. –Selected.

Not always OUT of our troublous times,
And the struggles fierce and grim,
But IN–deeper IN–to our one sure rest,
The place of our peace, in Him.
–Annie Johnson Flint

We once heard a simple old colored man say something that we have never forgotten: “When God tests you, it is a good time for you to test Him by putting His promises to the proof, and claiming from Him just as much as your trials have rendered necessary.”

There are two ways of getting out of a trial.  One is to simply try to get rid of the trial, and be thankful when it is over.  The other is to recognize the trial as a challenge from God to claim a larger blessing than we have ever had, and to hail it with delight as an opportunity of obtaining a larger measure of Divine grace.  Thus even the adversary becomes an auxiliary, and the things that seem to be against us turn out to be for the furtherance of our way.  Surely, this is to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
–A. B. Simpson

(From Charles E Cowman Devotionals – Streams in the Desert) 

Comfort in the Depths

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee who passing through the valley of weeping, make it a well” (Ps. 84:5, 6).

Comfort does not come to the light-hearted and merry. We must go down into “depths” if we would experience this most precious of God’s gifts–comfort, and thus be prepared to be co-workers together with Him.

When night–needful night–gathers over the garden of our souls, when the leaves close up, and the flowers no longer hold any sunlight within their folded petals, there shall never be wanting, even in the thickest darkness, drops of heavenly dew–dew which falls only when the sun has gone.

“I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the ‘God of all comfort’ was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.

“As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.

“When he leads thro’ some valley of trouble
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.

“Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows.

“Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
‘Hereafter Thou’lt know what I do.’

“As we travel thro’ life’s shadow’d valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.

“So we’ll follow wherever He leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we’ve proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.”

(From Charles E Cowman Devotionals – Streams in the Desert)