Experiencing Long and Continuing Trials?

“We could be quickly relieved of our troubles–but God does not think it fit to grant our request. Showers that come by drops and soak into the earth, are better than those which come in a tempest and hurricane!”

The gradual and long continuing of a trial, which are its sharpness and bitterness–are also, to a large extent, the reason for its usefulness. If the sharp affliction came and left with a rush–we would be rather swept away by it, than softened and saturated by its influence. To push a crucible among the glowing coals and snatch it out again, would not provide refining–the metal must spend time in the furnace until the fire has done its work.

Perhaps you have lived in the perpetual grip of affliction, and now feel quite weary of the endless torture. Do not faint under the long process–the highest degree of benefit is adding up, because of  the continuance of your adversity!

In the later part of a trial, every stroke brings a tenfold result, and operates with greatly increased efficacy. It would be a pity for the Lord to hold back His hand, when it is working with such special and marked result. All the preceding affliction has worked the heart into a fit condition to receive the master-strokes of the Divine Artist! The foundational colors have been laid on–but the second and finishing touch is now being given! Therefore, do not ask God’s hand to stop, but rather pray that its work may be carried on with power, and the Lord’s glory be seen in it all.

It will not cease raining yet–and why should it, so long as the soil is being softened, saturated, and fertilized by the falling drops? Let patience have her perfect work–and how can that be, unless the tribulation runs its full course?

Lord, make me ready to wait for the vision, however long it may be delayed. Your way of trying me is the best. I would not hurry Your hand, if I could!

(Charles Spurgeon, “Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden” 1883 – adapted)