NOVEMBER 21

 

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations—Jas. 1: 2.

 

All wish frequently, no doubt, that the testings were all over and that we were accepted to a place among the overcomers; but patience and faith and trust are to do a refining work in our hearts, making us mellow, willing and obedient to the Lord. Let the good work go on. Let us rejoice if our trials have brought us lessons of any kind that are profitable to us—that have tended to make us stronger in character, more firm for truth and righteousness, more aware of our own weaknesses, and more on guard against the same. Even those conflicts which have resulted in only partial victories have possibly been to our  advantage.  Even on points in which there may have been absolute failure, the result may be a strengthening of character, a crystallization of determination for greater zeal in that direction again, and a humility of heart before the Lord in prayer.

 

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The temptations here meant are the Christian's trials along the lines of losses, disappointments, delays, restraints, shelvings, faults, lacks, weaknesses, mistakes, failures, chastisements, hardships, necessities, calamities, misunderstandings, disagreements, divisions, misrepresentations, oppositions, sickness, pains, sorrows, dangers and persecutions. The natural tendency of such trials is to distress us, but we should rejoice in them as evidence of God's favor and as opportunities for our development. Amid such trials at first it is impossible to rejoice; the best we can do is to count them joy, i.e., reckoned, not actual joy. By and by such reckoning will become a habit, and this habit will gradually produce such joy as will enable us to exult and glory, if not at, yet amid our tribulations. Hallelujah!

 

Parallel passages: Ex. 34: 12; Deut. 13: 3; Psa. 119: 165; Prov. 2: 10-12; 14: 27; 19: 27; Isa. 33: 15, 16; Matt. 4: 1-11; 13: 22; Rom. 5: 3-5; 8: 35-39; 12: 21; 1Cor. 10: 13, 14; 2Cor. 7: 4; Eph. 6: 11-17; Heb. 2: 18; 4: 15.

 

Questions: What have been this week's trials? How were they met? What helped or hindered therein? In what did they result?

 

TWO FROGS

 

TWO frogs fell into a deep cream bowl.

One was an optimistic soul.

The other took the gloomy view:

"We'll drown," he cried, without more ado;

So, with a last despairing cry

 He flung up his legs and said "Good-by."

 

Said the other frog with a plucky grin,

"I can't get out, but I won't give in;

I'll just swim around till my strength is spent,

Then I can die with more content."

Bravely he swam till it would seem

His struggles began to churn the cream.

At last on top of the butter he stopped

And out of the bowl he gladly hopped.

 

What of the moral? 'Tis easily found—

When you can't get out keep swimming around.

 

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