From Bitterness to Benefit

For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth… Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.- Hebrews 12:6,11

God may touch us, and probably has done so or will, in points most vital. To be tried in the loss of some of your superfluities, my brethren, is but little; but to lose even the little that you had to live upon, to be brought to straitness of bread, this is real tribulation. To have the hand put forth to touch your bone and your flesh, this is affliction. Believe me, our virtues and graces look very fine, and we think much of them until they undergo that ordeal, but that test often takes from them their gloss and beauty; we find how great our weakness is when the very marrow of our bones seems to be a den in which pains, like robbers, hide themselves. God may touch you in the most beloved object of your heart. It is not one child that is taken out of many, but the only one; it is not a friend, or distant relative, but the partner of your bosom is laid low. Do not wonder if the trial affects you greatly, and comes home to your soul and heart. It is one of God’s determinations that trials shall not be mock trials with his servants, and the grace given shall not be imaginary, but true. God never plays at chastening His children. No trial for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous. By the blueness of the wound the heart is made better; if it does not bruise, it doth not benefit. Very much in proportion to the bitterness felt will be the benefit that will come of it.  ~ C.H. Spurgeon

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