The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, confirm, and strengthen you—1 Pet. 5: 10; see Diaglott.
It is only through endurance of hardness as good soldiers of Christ that this desirable condition can be attained, namely, perfect self-control and ability to resist evil; established faith, patience and virtue; settled, abiding rest in Christ; and hope through His word of promise. This undoubtedly was the Apostle's own experience as he grew old in the Master's service, and so may it be ours. Let each departing year find us nearer the glorious summit of perfection!
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Our having the privilege of the Gospel-Age calling is one of the most marvelous exhibitions of God's grace. No wonder that its realization requires faithfulness under the most crucial tests of suffering! These sufferings effect three things in our development in the new heart, mind and will. They strengthen us in a right attitude toward evil, in good affections, in the graces and in knowledge; they balance the various parts and qualities of Christian character; and finally they perfect, crystallize, them, and all this is accomplished by the Lord through the power of God's Spirit, Word and providence.
Parallel passages: 1Cor. 1: 9; 1Tim. 6: 12; Psa. 30: 5; Isa. 54: 8; Matt. 5: 12; Rom. 8: 18, 37; 1Pet. 1: 6; Eph. 3: 16; 6: 10-17; Col. 1: 11; 2Tim. 2: 1; 2Thes. 2: 17; 3: 3; 1Thes. 3: 12, 3; Jas. 5: 8; 2Pet. 1: 12; Rom. 8: 29; Luke 6: 40; Eph. 4: 12; Heb. 13: 20, 21.
Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? How? With what results?
THE NEEDED STRENGTH
I WANDERED o'er the mountain side
Where rocks lay all around,
Within a tiny crevice there
A little tree I found.
Though crushed between two cold, gray rocks
The sapling still did try
To grow into a tree, and reached
Its branches toward the sky.
"You may as well give up," I said,
Your chances there are few;
Against such odds, you try in vain—
Life was not fair to you."
The years rolled by, and once again
I wandered through that land;
And in that crevice, I beheld
A tree both tall and grand.
And as I closer drew, I saw
The rocks were pushed aside,
The crevice, once so very small,
Was many inches wide.
"I might have known," I whispered then,
"That God, who made the seed,
Would put within its tiny form
The strength for every need."
How can we doubt our Father's care,
Who thus cares for a tree?
Will He not give His children strength
To be what we should be?
When obstacles are in the way,
Should we sit down and sigh,
And so fall short of what we'd be,
If we would only try?
We'll win, if we remember this,
For it is very true—
God's strength is quite sufficient for
All things we're told to do.
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