Bench, Or Arena? 

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator" (1 Pet. 4:19).

Initially, all we are able to trust God for is our justification. During this stage we are usually satisfied to remain spectators in the battle of life. Later, when we know Him better and are thereby able to trust Him more fully, we become willing to let our Father take us down into the arena and make us participators. "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2 Tim. 2:4).

"If you would know victory you must have conflict; it is ridiculous to talk about having a victorious life when you have never been in conflict. You must be prepared to enter the arena with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and He will give you lessons day by day. No one can enjoy freedom without paying the price, even in the ordinary values of life. If you would know what it is to triumph, you must certainly pass through tribulation. If you want patience, then it is tribulation; if you want victory there must be conflict."

"Does Paul regret the thorn in the flesh that drew forth words that have comforted countless millions? Do the men for whom the winds were contrary wish they had been spared the storm that brought their Lord to them, walking on the sea, and caused Him to speak that immortal It is I; be not afraid'?"

"The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel" (Phil. 1:12).

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