The root upon which our blessings grow
"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried" Daniel 12:10
All Christians desire to be purified and made white—but when it comes to being tried, that is a very different thing. They shrink from the very word. Their trials are to them as a nightmare from which they would gladly escape. But trials are a necessary part of God's process of preparing us for Heaven.
The storms and obstacles in our lives, all work out for out good if we meet them as we should. Through them, our lives are enriched and ennobled and developed. They are blessings to us, though they may seem to be blessings very much disguised.
Life has both its bitter and its sweet. We should not always expect to have the sweet alone. Sometimes circumstances are in our favor, and work for our happiness, peace and contentment. Sometimes we have smooth sailing, and everything goes pleasantly. We are courageous and confident and rejoicing. The sun shines brightly out of a cloudless sky, and every prospect seems fair.
But this smooth sailing does not last forever. Sooner or later, the clouds must come and the storm-winds beat upon us. We must have the rough weather—as well as the pleasant weather; the storm—as well as the calm.
The sunshine and the calm are very needful in life—and they work out a definite purpose.
But the storms and the rain and the wind are likewise needed—and they also fulfill their purpose.
Trials will come—we cannot evade them. We may plan and build up hopes—only to have our air-castles come crashing down around our heads! If we have set our hearts upon these things, we are likely to be very disappointed upon their wreck, and to feel very gloomy over the result.
How greatly we are affected by our trials, depends on whether or not we sweetly submit to them. We should never fret on account of disappointments. If we do, they will only grow more rapidly, both in size and in intensity.
Losses may come to us—our property may be swept away or burned up. If we have our hearts set upon our possessions—then this may touch a tender spot, and it will darken our lives and make us morose and dissatisfied.
Poverty may come and the many difficulties incident thereto.
Sickness may lay its heavy hand upon us or our loved ones, and try every fiber of our being. Sickness may play upon the chords of pain, a lamentation that incites with exquisite torture! Or it may fire our blood with fever until the sparkle has gone from the eye and the glow of health from the cheek. Or it may bind us helplessly captive in chains.
Death may come and take those dear by the ties of nature or friendship—and leave sorrow and grief to be our companions.
These things try the soul, but they must be borne. We cannot escape such things, for they are the common heritage of those who dwell in tabernacles of clay. They belong to mortality and to the mutable things of time. How greatly such things may affect us, will depend upon how much we rebel against the circumstances—or how easily we submit to and adapt ourselves to God's will. God may chasten you sorely, but He will do it for your profit, not for your destruction.
Our trials are the root upon which our blessings grow. These roots may be bitter—but the fruit is sure to be sweet, if we patiently wait for its maturing. Many choice fruits grow on thorny trees, and he who will gather the fruit, may expect to be pricked now and then by the thorns.
We cannot escape trials. The only thing some Christians do by rebelling, is to increase their suffering in the trials and prevent themselves from getting the blessedness out of them.
We ought to be willing to suffer when it is God's will for us to suffer, and when He sees it is necessary for us to suffer. Our Master drank the cup of suffering, even though it was bitter. Are we better than He? Shall we refuse to go by the path which led Him to glory?