“Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well, the rain also filleth the pools.” Psalm 84:6
This teaches us that the comfort obtained by a one may often prove serviceable to another; just as wells would be used by the company who came after. We read some book full of consolation, which is like Jonathan’s rod, dropping with honey. Ah! we think our brother has been here before us, and digged this well for us as well as for himself. Many a “Night of Weeping,” “Midnight Harmonies,” an “Eternal Day,” “A Crook in the Lot,” a “Comfort for Mourners,” has been a well digged by a pilgrim for himself, but has proved quite as useful to others. Specially we notice this in the Psalms, such as that beginning, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” Travellers have been delighted to see the footprint of man on a barren shore, and we love to see the waymarks of pilgrims while passing through the vale of tears.
The pilgrims dig the well, but, strange enough, it fills from the top instead of the bottom. We use the means, but the blessing does not spring from the means. We dig a well, but heaven fills it with rain. The horse is prepared against the day of battle, but safety is of the Lord. The means are connected with the end, but they do not of themselves produce it. See here the rain fills the pools, so that the wells become useful as reservoirs for the water; labour is not lost, but yet it does not supersede divine help.
Grace may well be compared to rain for its purity, for its refreshing and vivifying influence, for its coming alone from above, and for the sovereignty with which it is given or withheld. May our readers have showers of blessing, and may the wells they have digged be filled with water! Oh, what are means and ordinances without the smile of heaven! They are as clouds without rain, and pools without water. O God of love, open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing!
Observe the condescension of this fact. This Man, who towers above all other men, holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners–this Man receiveth sinners. This Man, who is no other than the eternal God, before whom angels veil their faces–this Man receiveth sinners. It needs an angel’s tongue to describe such a mighty stoop of love. That any of us should be willing to seek after the lost is nothing wonderful–they are of our own race; but that he, the offended God, against whom the transgression has been committed, should take upon himself the form of a servant, and bear the sin of many, and should then be willing to receive the vilest of the vile, this is marvellous.
“This Man receiveth sinners”; not, however, that they may remain sinners, but he receives them that he may pardon their sins, justify their persons, cleanse their hearts by his purifying word, preserve their souls by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and enable them to serve him, to show forth his praise, and to have communion with him. Into his heart’s love he receives sinners, takes them from the dunghill, and wears them as jewels in his crown; plucks them as brands from the burning, and preserves them as costly monuments of his mercy. None are so precious in Jesus’ sight as the sinners for whom he died. When Jesus receives sinners, he has not some out-of-doors reception place, no casual ward where he charitably entertains them as men do passing beggars, but he opens the golden gates of his royal heart, and receives the sinner right into himself–yea, he admits the humble penitent into personal union and makes him a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. There was never such a reception as this! This fact is still most sure this evening, he is still receiving sinners: would to God sinners would receive him.
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AUTHOR’S NOTE: HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THE SPIRITUAL CONDITION AMERICA IS IN AND WHY IT IS IN SUCH A CONDITION? MY SPIRIT DOES GRIEVE FOR OUR NATION AND LIKE MANY WALL WATCHERS WE HAVE PUT OUT ” WARNINGS” OVER THE YEARS. YET, THE CHURCH OF GOD HAS STILL REMAINED IN HER SLUMBER. WARNINGS AND SALVATION BLOGDECEPTION IN THE PULPITHIS PRECIOUS NAME IS EVERYWHERECHURCH IN CRITICAL CONDITION THESE ARE BUT A FEW OF WHAT I HAVE BEEN LED TO SHARE TRYING TO GET THE CHURCH TO LISTEN AND WAKE UP!! WATCH THE VIDEO I HAVE BEEN DIRECTED OF THE LORD TO PRODUCE BOTH FOR CHURCH AND AMERICA! IF YOU CARE YOU WILL “TAKE THE TIME” TO LISTEN AND SHARE THIS MESSAGE!
CONTEXT OF LUKE 23:27-31 CLEARLY IS THE JUDGMENT COMING UPON ISRAEL; JUDGMENT ELSEWHERE IN LUKE IS REFERRED TO AS FIRE.
Luke 3:9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Luke 3:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Luke 12:49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
Luke 17:29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
EZEKIEL 20:47 CONSIDER WHAT CHARLES SPURGEON SAID
Charles Spurgeon said, “Decayed churches can most certainly be revived by the preaching of the Word, accompanied by the coming of the heavenly breath from the four winds.” [from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 10, page 426; quoted in Warren Wiersbe’s commentary on Ezekiel, page 197]
EZEKIEL 21:3-4 CONSIDER CHARLES SPURGEON AGAIN……BELOW IN SERMON NO.165
3 And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.
4 Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north:
The text is a solemn one—”He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning: his blood shall be upon him.” The first head is this—the warning was all that could be desired—“he heard the sound of the trumpet.” Secondly, the excuses for not attending to the startling warning are all of them both frivolous and wicked: and therefore, in the third place, the consequences of inattention must be terrible, because man’s blood must then be on his own head.
PSALM 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
SO IT SHALL BE IN THE HOUSE OF CHRIST (MY HEART IS SO HEAVY!)
1 PETER 4:17 GIVEN TO ME “WARNING” JUDGMENT “MUST” BEGIN IN THE HOUSE OF GOD!!!
AUTHOR’S NOTE CONTINUED: THE HOUSE OF GOD IS AS A VALLEY OF DRY BONES! THE SHEEP ARE SCATTERED TO THE FOUR WINDS LONGING FOR THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH! THE ASSIGNMENTS GIVEN TO APPOINTED MEN OF GOD HAVE ABANDONED THEIR POST, “THE PULPIT!” THEY HAVE GONE THE WAYWARD SIDE AND CHASE FANCIFUL DREAMS OF PROSPERITY AND FEEL GOOD GOSPEL. HOW MANY GENERATIONS HAVE WE LOST BECAUSE THE POSTS OF PREACHERS AND DISCIPLES HAVE GONE TO SLEEP OR ALL TOGETHER HAVE JUST GIVEN UP TO FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT?
PETER EXHORTS THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH TO FEED THE FLOCK THAT ARE AMONG YOU AND TAKING OVERSIGHT THERE OF, WILLINGLY AND A READY MIND. ELDERS OF THE CHURCH ARE TO BE EXAMPLES TO THE FLOCK. IT BREAKS MY HEART TO WITTINESS THE AUDACITY AND CONTEMPT AND DOWN RIGHT BLASPHEMY IN SOME CASES OF THE ASSIGNED SHEPHERDS OF CHURCHES. 1 PETER 5 COVERS THESE URGENT WORDS FOR SAID ELDERS/SHEPHERDS OF THE CHURCH AND CHARLES SPURGEON COVERED A MULTITUDE ON THE SUBJECT.
….nature of sin. This will be clear if you think for a moment that anything which is a transgression of God’s command is sin, and if there were no other command; the one in our Text being broken would involve us in iniquity. But it is a precept earnestly repeated by our Savior many times, it is one which the Apostles have reiterated again and again, and one which cannot be neglected without involving transgression. Besides, the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting of ourselves into His place, to do for Him that which we dream He either cannot or will not do! We attempt to think of that which we fancy He will forget; or we labor to take upon ourselves that burden which He either is not able or willing to carry for us. Now, this impertinence, this presumption, what if I say, this audacity, has in it the very nature of sin, to attempt to know better than God, to snatch from His hands the helm by which He guides affairs, to attempt to correct His charts, to re-map His Providence! This, indeed, is such impertinence, that as the guardian Scripture pushes back the intruder; it demands of him, “Are you also one of the King’s Counsel? What are you doing here? He took no counsel with you when He made the heavens and the earth, and balanced the clouds, and stretched out the skies like a tent to dwell in, how dare you come here and offer advice to Perfect Wisdom, and aid to Omnipotent Strength?” There is in anxious care the very nature of sin!
Reassured by the Word of the Lord, the poor trembling citizens of Zion grew bold, and shook their heads at Sennacherib’s boastful threats. Strong faith enables the servants of God to look with calm contempt upon their most haughty foes. We know that our enemies are attempting impossibilities. They seek to destroy the eternal life, which cannot die while Jesus lives; to overthrow the citadel, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. They kick against the pricks to their own wounding, and rush upon the bosses of Jehovah’s buckler to their own hurt.
We know their weakness. What are they but men? And what is man but a worm? They roar and swell like waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. When the Lord ariseth, they shall fly as chaff before the wind, and be consumed as crackling thorns. Their utter powerlessness to do damage to the cause of God and his truth, may make the weakest soldiers in Zion’s ranks laugh them to scorn.
Above all, we know that the Most High is with us, and when he dresses himself in arms, where are his enemies? If he cometh forth from his place, the potsherds of the earth will not long contend with their Maker. His rod of iron shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel, and their very remembrance shall perish from the earth. Away, then, all fears, the kingdom is safe in the King’s hands. Let us shout for joy, for the Lord reigneth, and his foes shall be as straw for the dunghill.
Canst thou answer this, believer? Canst thou find any reason why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why yield to gloomy anticipations? Who told thee that the night would never end in day? Who told thee that the sea of circumstances would ebb out till there should be nothing left but long leagues of the mud of horrible poverty? Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow, and ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of despair? Knowest thou not that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter? Hope thou then! Hope thou ever! For God fails thee not. Dost thou not know that thy God loves thee in the midst of all this? Mountains, when in darkness hidden, are as real as in day, and God’s love is as true to thee now as it was in thy brightest moments. No father chastens always: thy Lord hates the rod as much as thou dost; he only cares to use it for that reason which should make thee willing to receive it, namely, that it works thy lasting good. Thou shalt yet climb Jacob’s ladder with the angels, and behold him who sits at the top of it–thy covenant God. Thou shalt yet, amidst the splendours of eternity, forget the trials of time, or only remember them to bless the God who led thee through them, and wrought thy lasting good by them. Come, sing in the midst of tribulation. Rejoice even while passing through the furnace. Make the wilderness to blossom like the rose! Cause the desert to ring with thine exulting joys, for these light afflictions will soon be over, and then “forever with the Lord,” thy bliss shall never wane.
“Faint not nor fear, his arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear;
Only believe and thou shalt see,
That Christ is all in all to thee.”
All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)
To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the wicked you show yourself hostile. You rescue those who are humble.…As for God, his way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.…Psalm 18:25-27,30
Faithful and dependable
A hot morning shower, a fresh cup of coffee. The lights in your kitchen and bathroom. What would you do if you were deprived of the basics of your dependable morning routine? Many of us would start shutting down. It’s easy to take hot water and electricity for granted. The same is true of faithful love. It’s easy to take for granted the person who is always there to listen to your problems. It’s easy to take for granted the person you run to when you’re frustrated or in trouble. It’s even easier to take for granted God’s faithful care for you and your family. Every day God sustains the world in which we move and live. He provides food, clothing, and opportunities for employment. Most important, he showers love and concern on us every day. Our God is a faithful God. He is entirely dependable.
That same type of faithful and dependable love is the foundation of every strong relationship. Love is cheap if it’s given only when things are going fine. Our love for others must be consistent and dependable.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
During his life, Harry Houdini had a standing challenge that he could escape from any jail cell within an hour. A small town in the British Isles had just constructed a new jail cell they thought was escape-proof, and they wanted to put it to the test. Houdini entered the cell and immediately went to work. After two grueling hours — an hour past his deadline — Houdini finally withdrew his file from the lock and leaned against the door in exhaustion. To his amazement, the cell door swung open.
The jailors had tricked the great magician by closing the jail door but never bolting the lock. He was free all along, he just didn’t know it.
Satan has the same strategy, doesn’t he? His greatest weapon is to make us think that we are trapped, when in reality the cell door is always open. Satan can’t bind us, so he tricks us into making us believe the cell door is locked.
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House
JESUS HELP ME!
All the prison doors flew open, and the chains came loose!
The title above is in red for a reason! If it were not for the shed blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.) I would still be sitting in prison spiritually. As a child I knew about Jesus from Sunday School lessons and the such; as a teenager I wondered about Him and God’s creation; yet I knew Him not. The Word had been made known to me; prayers had been prayed over me. Yet I knew Him not. I was still a child on milk with a longing unfulfilled not knowing all the time I was born for a time such as this!! I won’t bore you with all the trial and tribulations; but, I will tell you forth running that in my adulthood as a mother with first child that is when the Lord God Almighty grabbed me by my boot straps and put a mentor in my life that set me on track to know God’s Word, to be among believers in Christ, to be baptized, and to serve the Lord. At this point I saw the prison door opened and the chains dropped. Fast forward: We were living in Florida at the time and this is when God said in an “Audible Voice,” “ARE YOU READY TO GET UP YET!!!” THAT got my attention: This is how it happened….
Typical family night, I’m giving my boys their bath and getting ready for bed. All of the sudden out of the blue I hear, “ARE YOU READY TO GET UP YET!!!” I looked around, ask the boys if they heard anything, “No, they said.” I asked my daughter who was sitting at the computer in the living room doing homework and she said “No.” Then I ask my husband and he said “No.” The only other sounds was the normal neighborhood children getting last few minuets of playtime in before being called in for the evening. Dogs barking, cats meowing, just normal stuff and no TV on in our house. I finished with my boy’s bath and got them off to bed. I waited till all were turned in and sought the Lord in prayer.
This was the night the Lord truly revealed Himself to me my brothers and sisters in Christ! Father God on this night revealed His treasures to me and gave me my nugget (Rhema Word) for life: My Life verse:
Isaiah 30:21 (AKJV)
21 and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
With these treasures of the Lord I bless you, ask the Lord to keep you, encourage you and protect you and yours in the precious name of Jesus Christ! Amen
PRISON DOOR OPEN AND THE CHAINS DROPPED
Acts 16:16-40 (AKJV)
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 the same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20 and brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 and teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24 who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. 34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go. 36 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. 37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. 38 And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. 39 And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city. 40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.
May the peace of the Lord be upon you all in Jesus’ name. Amen
I remember a somewhat ludicrous incident which occurred to a church in which there were great quarrellings and bickerings. The minister and the deacons, and the people, were all at arm’s length, and daggers drawn. It was determined at last that the matter should come to a settlement, and it was by mutual consent given up to the judgment of a good Christian farmer, who lived in the neighbourhood. He was to hear the case, and write an answer to be read at the next church meeting. Our friend, the farmer, sat down to write his letter; at the same time he had a letter from a steward or tenant asking advice about his farm, and by a mistake, or rather by a blessed providence as God would have it, he put the wrong letters into the envelopes, so that the letter which was intended for the church went to the steward, and that which was intended for the steward went to the church. At the church meeting, when they were all assembled, this letter was read to the church; it ran thus: Dear friend, mind you see to the hedges well. Keep them up as best you can, and take special care of the old black bull. Now that was a most extraordinary letter to write to a church. It had been sent by mistake, but the minister, thinking it was a bona fide piece of advice, said he could not comprehend it. Some brother got up and said it was plain enough; it was meant that they must be very watchful as to whom they should receive into the church. They must keep their hedges up and see there were no gaps. And, said he, by the old black bull I have no doubt he means that spirit of Satan that would get in and trouble and divide us. So understanding it in that sense they made up their difference, repaired their hedges, and were careful of the old black bul. Every church must do the same.
Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem. We put away our lyres, hanging them on the branches of the willow trees. For there our captors demanded a song of us. Our tormentors requested a joyful hymn: “Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!” But how can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?
In captivity in Babylon, the Jews wept for their homeland and prayed for the day when they might return. But when the day of their release from captivity finally came and they were allowed to return, only about fifty thousand (out of hundreds of thousands) made the trek back to Jerusalem. Why?
For one thing, some of the Jews were making a good living in Babylon — a better living than their fathers had made in Jerusalem. Others had married Babylonian spouses and become assimilated into Babylonian culture. They had forgotten Jerusalem. Can you blame them? Seventy years of captivity is a long time.
Whatever the reason, some of the Jews weren’t like the writer of Psalm 137, which apparently was written shortly after their return from exile.
The Bible speaks of heaven as our Jerusalem and suggests that where we are now living is Babylon on earth. How comfortable are you in your Babylon? How are you faring there? Have you forgotten that you, too, are an exile, a pilgrim in a foreign land? What are you looking ahead to?
Another beast…ordered the people of the world to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. He was permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.
Revelation 13:11, 14-15
The Great Persecution
When Diocletian became emperor of the Roman Empire in 284, Christians were encouraged because of rumors that his wife and daughter were believers. And, in fact, during the first nineteen years of his reign, Christians lived in relative peace and prosperity.
Gradually, life became more difficult for Christians. Deciding that religious unity would strengthen his empire, Diocletian published three edicts to guarantee the supremacy of the Roman state religion.
On February 23, 303, the day of the Roman feat Terminalia, an edict was posted that ordered all copies of Scripture to be burned, all churches destroyed, their property confiscated, and Christian worship forbidden. The Great Persecution had begun.
In early 304 another edict insisted that everyone in the Roman Empire sacrifice to the Roman gods. Every Christian was in jeopardy. Finally, the years of the Great Persecution ended with an edict of toleration by Constantine in 313. It granted religion liberty to Christians and pagans alike.
“…we decree still further in regard to the Christians, that their places, in which they were formerly accustomed to assemble…shall be restored to the said Christians, without demanding money or any other equivalent, with no delay or hesitation… For by this means… the divine favor toward us which we have already experienced in many matters will continue sure through all time.”
These words are for the humbling of God’s people; they are called God’s vine, but what are they by nature more than others? They, by God’s goodness, have become fruitful, having been planted in a good soil; the Lord hath trained them upon the walls of the sanctuary, and they bring forth fruit to his glory; but what are they without their God? What are they without the continual influence of the Spirit, begetting fruitfulness in them? O believer, learn to reject pride, seeing that thou hast no ground for it. Whatever thou art, thou hast nothing to make thee proud. The more thou hast, the more thou art in debt to God; and thou shouldst not be proud of that which renders thee a debtor. Consider thine origin; look back to what thou wast. Consider what thou wouldst have been but for divine grace. Look upon thyself as thou art now. Doth not thy conscience reproach thee? Do not thy thousand wanderings stand before thee, and tell thee that thou art unworthy to be called his son? And if he hath made thee anything, art thou not taught thereby that it is grace which hath made thee to differ? Great believer, thou wouldst have been a great sinner if God had not made thee to differ. O thou who art valiant for truth, thou wouldst have been as valiant for error if grace had not laid hold upon thee. Therefore, be not proud, though thou hast a large estate–a wide domain of grace, thou hadst not once a single thing to call thine own except thy sin and misery. Oh! strange infatuation, that thou, who hast borrowed everything, shouldst think of exalting thyself; a poor dependent pensioner upon the bounty of thy Saviour, one who hath a life which dies without fresh streams of life from Jesus, and yet proud! Fie on thee, O silly heart!
Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
This was the wicked question of Satan concerning that upright man of old, but there are many in the present day concerning whom it might be asked with justice, for they love God after a fashion because he prospers them; but if things went ill with them, they would give up all their boasted faith in God. If they can clearly see that since the time of their supposed conversion the world has gone prosperously with them, then they will love God in their poor carnal way; but if they endure adversity, they rebel against the Lord. Their love is the love of the table, not of the host; a love to the cupboard, not to the master of the house. As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward in the next life, and to endure hardness in this. The promise of the old covenant was prosperity, but the promise of the new covenant is adversity. Remember Christ’s words–“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit”–What? “He purgeth it, that it may bring forth fruit.” If you bring forth fruit, you will have to endure affliction. “Alas!” you say, “that is a terrible prospect.” But this affliction works out such precious results, that the Christian who is the subject of it must learn to rejoice in tribulations, because as his tribulations abound, so his consolations abound by Christ Jesus. Rest assured, if you are a child of God, you will be no stranger to the rod. Sooner or later every bar of gold must pass through the fire. Fear not, but rather rejoice that such fruitful times are in store for you, for in them you will be weaned from earth and made meet for heaven; you will be delivered from clinging to the present, and made to long for those eternal things which are so soon to be revealed to you. When you feel that as regards the present you do serve God for nought, you will then rejoice in the infinite reward of the future.
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