Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to test you, as though some strange thing happened unto you" (1 Peter 4:12).
The joy of sowing is exceeded only by the joy of harvesting; and yet both sowing and reaping are a matter of death.
"If we follow and note the history and ways of any true servant of the Lord, we shall see, that on the one side they, like Moses on the Mount, or Paul in Arabia, are entranced with the brightness and most marvelous display of divine glory; yet on man's side, those who know most of the divine ways, suffer most because of the indifference of those who have professed to be the Lord's people.
"It is nowhere admitted in Scripture that a servant can be merely the herald of the light of God's grace; that is, that he should only have the joyful side of service. For every real servant, be he evangelist, teacher, or anything else, there must be the side of suffering, burden, and humiliation."
"We must bear in mind that, while it is the Father's purpose, in His dealings with Job, to vindicate His own estimate of His servant; it is, at the same time, shown us how He educates or disciplines that servant so as to render him worthy of that estimate."
"In every trial, however gloomy, there are gleams of light and relief; but full deliverance is often delayed by our anxiety to obtain it. God Himself, and not the deliverance, is to be the satisfaction of His servant; consequently the deliverance is often postponed until we are without prospect or expectation of it; and then it may be accorded in a manner so transcendently beyond our conception, that we must see and understand the love and interest which surrounded us during the whole period of our trial."
"But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:3)
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