APRIL 18

 

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are made partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy—1 Pet. 4: 12, 13.

 

In an unfriendly world we can expect to receive only the reproaches of our Master, for the servant is not above his Lord. The world, the flesh and the devil oppose our way. There are fightings within and fears without, and many are the arrows and fiery darts aimed at the righteous. But what is the safe attitude of the soul under afflictions and severe testings? Is it not in silence before God, waiting and watching first to see His leading, His will, in every matter before presuming to touch things that often involve so much? So the Psalmist suggests, saying, "I was dumb with silence; I held my peace, even from good [even from doing or saying what seemed good in my own sight]".

 

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It should not surprise God's children when trials come, for their consecration implies suffering with Christ. Nor should it discourage them; rather it should be the cause of rejoicing, because it affords them the privilege of suffering with Christ, an experience which should make all the sweeter the glory to follow. The greater the suffering endured, the greater will be the glory to be revealed. Well may this thought encourage us.

 

Parallel passages: Rom. 6: 1-11; 8: 10, 17; 2Cor. 1: 5; 4: 10; 1Cor. 15: 29-34; Mark 10: 35-39; Col. 2: 11, 12; Gal. 2: 20; 2Tim. 2: 10-12; Phil. 3: 10; 1Pet. 2: 19-24; 3: 14, 17, 18; 4: 16, 19; Heb. 7: 26, 27; 13: 10-16; 10: 4-10, 19; 9: 13-23; 1Pet. 2: 5, 9.

 

Questions: Have I this week suffered with Christ? How? Why? With what results?

 

PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERING

 

GOD never would send you the darkness,

If He felt you could bear the light;

But you would not cling to His guiding hand,

If the way were always bright;

And you would not care to walk by faith,

Could you always walk by sight.

 

'Tis true He hath many an anguish,

For your sorrowful heart to bear,

And many a cruel thorn-crown,

 For your poor, tired head to wear;

He knows how few would reach heaven at all,

If pain did not guide them there.

 

So He sends you the blinding darkness,

And the furnace of seven-fold heat:

'Tis the only way, believe me,

To keep you close to His feet—

For 'tis always so easy to wander,

When our lives are glad and sweet.

 

Then nestle your hand in your Father's

And sing, if you can, as you go;

Your song may cheer some one behind you,

Whose courage is sinking low;

And, well, if your lips do quiver—

God will love you better so.

 

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