Expect some adversity along the way…

Arthur Pink, an excerpt from “David’s Flight” —

Prosperity is often a mixed blessing, and adversity is far from being an unmixed calamity!

Alternating spiritual prosperity and adversity, is the lot of God’s people on this earth. All is not unclouded sunshine with them–nor is it unrelieved gloom and storm. There is a mingling of both:
joys–and sorrows;
victories–and defeats;
assistance from friends–and injuries from foes;
smiles from the Lord’s countenance–and the hidings of His face.

By such changes, opportunities are afforded for the development and exercise of different graces, so that we may, in our measure, “know how to be abased–and how to abound . . . both to be full–and to be empty” (Phil. 4:12). But above all, that we may, amid varying circumstances, prove the unchanging faithfulness of God–and His sufficiency to supply our every need.

040208-test-road-031Ah, my reader, if you are one of God’s elect–do not expect a smooth and easy path through this earthly wilderness–but be prepared for varying circumstances and drastic changes. The Christian’s resting place is not in this world, for “here have we no continuing city” (Hebrews 13:14). The Christian is a “pilgrim,” on a journey; he is a “soldier,” called on to fight the good fight of faith. The more this is realized, the less keen will be the disappointment, when our ease is disturbed, and our outward peace harshly broken in upon.

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous,” and if ‘troubles’ do not come to us in one form–they most certainly will in another! If we really appropriate this promise–then we shall not be so staggered when afflictions come upon us. It is written that, “it is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22), and therefore we should make up our minds to expect the same, and to “not to think it strange” (1 Peter 4:12) when we are called upon to pass through “the fiery trial.” Affliction, tribulation, and fiery trial–are a times, our portion here on earth.

Changing circumstances afford opportunity for the development and exercise of different graces. Some graces are of the active and aggressive kind–while others are of a passive order, requiring quite another setting for their display. Some of the traits which mark the soldier on a battlefield, would be altogether out of place were he languishing on a bed of sickness. Both spiritual joy and godly sorrow–are equally beautiful in their season.

As there are certain vegetables, fruits, and flowers which cannot be grown in lands which are unvisited by nipping winds and biting frosts–so there are some fruits of the Spirit which are only produced in the soil of severe trials, troubles and tribulations!

Thank God for His faithfulness in everything,
pdb

Adversity never a solitary visitor…


“Adversity is never a solitary visitor to the soul” writes Raymond Brown. “Paul believed that trouble enables discerning Christians to unearth hidden treasures,” he adds, with an eye to 2 Corinthians 1.

When difficulties, opposition, illness, persecution or other such adversities arrive on the doorstep of your life, it does not arrive alone, but comes with that ever-welcome friend, the Comfort of a gracious God.

But the two-fold catch here is that:
(1) you need to be a Christian to be able to entertain these visitors at the same time, and,
(2) you need to be a Christian who watches for this second guest.

Christian: one who is, by faith, in a right relationship with his Creator God through the divine person and gracious work of Jesus Christ.

Discerning: the Christian who, knowing that God cares and is sovereign, looks for Him to “work all things together for good” [Romans 8:28].

comfortt: the manifest presence of the love and grace of God in the people, things or circumstances He sends to us. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians chapter 1:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. [1] 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

If you are trusting Christ, seek the comforts promised you in the Bible whenever adversities coming knocking. Take it from Paul — God knows what He is doing on cloudy and on sunny days!

yours by divine mercy,
Pastor David