The Christian’s Daily Challenge–Nov. 1st.

Increase through trial

“Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again. . . . shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side” (Psa. 71:20-21).
“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest . . . behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires” (Isa. 54:11).

If by the enlargement of my life I let in human sorrow I also let in divine consolation. A big, holy purpose makes me more sensitive toward the sin and hostility of man, but it also makes me more sensitive toward God. If the sufferings abound, “so our comfort aboundeth also.” If I said nothing more than this, this alone would suffice: if we suffer with Christ, Christ Himself becomes a great reality. When life is a picnic we play with theology: when life becomes a campaign we grope for religion.
—J. H. Jowett.

The tears we shed are not in vain;
Nor worthless is the heavy strife;
If, like the buried seed of grain,
They rise to renovated life.
It is through tears our spirits grow;
’Tis in the tempest souls expand,
If it but teaches us to go
To Him Who holds it in His hand.
Oh, welcome, then, the stormy blast!
Oh, welcome, then, the ocean’s roar!
Ye only drive more sure and fast
Our trembling bark to Heaven’s bright shore.
—Thomas C. Upham.

Now, as I look back over my own life, I can discover that some of the richest mercies my heavenly Father has ever bestowed have come in the shape of bitter disappointments. It has been truly remarked that “disappointment never means wreck when God’s hand is in it. There is often a lift in that ugly thing.” Disappointment, like fire, has a double power; it may scorch and crisp and blast a man, or else it may thaw out his blood, and quicken his life.
—Theodore Cuyler.


Jesus infallibly knew that when words were spoken and actions
performed in accordance with the blessed attributes of God, though
such actions were done on the lonely seashore, or such words were
whispered in the soundless ravines of Galilee, they would in due time,
under the fertilizing and cultivating power of the Holy Ghost, come
forth in the gigantic forms of mature history, and be uttered in peals
louder than seven thunders, when the proper hour had arrived. All great
characters are first made in secret. ― Our Own God by G. D. Watson

Robert Murray McCheyne’s Diary Entries

“Two things that defile this day in looking back are love of praise running through all and consenting to listen to worldly talk at all.  Oh that these may keep me humble and be my burden, leading me to the cross.  Then, Satan, thou wilt be outwitted.”

“When I was laid aside from the ministry, I used often to say, ‘Now God is teaching me the use of prayer.’  I thought I would never forget the lesson, yet I fear I have grown slack again when in the midst of my work.”

“Private meditation exchanged for conversation.  Here is the root of all evil―forsake God, and He forsakes us.”

“Sabbath―very happy in my work.  Too little prayer in the morning.  Must try to get early to bed on Saturday, that I may ‘rise a great while before day.’” “Rose early to seek God, and found Him Whom my soul loveth.  Who would not rise early to meet such company?” ―How They Prayed, page 52.

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A Place to Pray

It came to my heart with a lesson,
As the day was beginning to dawn,
As the day, with its cares and trials
And its blessings, was drawing on,

How Jesus, the world’s Redeemer,
Arose before it was day,
And, feeling His human weakness
Found in secret a place to pray.

Not even the three disciples
Who followed the Lord the best,
Were there in His sanctuary;
They slumbered as did the rest,

And only the stars of heaven
With, perchance, the silvery moon,
Looked down upon their Creator,
Who would suffer and die so soon.

If Jesus, the King of glory,
Commander of hosts on high,
Must petition for daily succor,
What about such a worm as I?

I rest at ease in the morning,
Before me a puzzling day;
I know not how I shall meet it;
But my Savior arose to pray.  

How foolish our human blindness!
How hard are our hearts of stone!
Why rise we not in the morning,
And pray to our God alone?

There’s help for the daily duties,
And spiritual strength and power,
There’s victory for the conflict,
To be gained in the morning hour.

If we walk in the Master’s footsteps,
And follow the path He trod,
We must find, in the early morning,
A quiet place with God.

We must pour out our heart before Him,
And let Him into the life,
If we ever shall be the winner
Of victory over strife.

                            ―Minnie Embree Parker.
―In Biblical Evangelist.

Barclay Buxton, leader of the Japan Evangelistic Band, wrote to his Christian workers and converts:  “Do you rise early?  None of us ought to be in bed after six, so that we may have at least one quiet hour with God for prayer and reading of His Word before we meet others, and the day’s work begins.  At special times we must get more―but no Christian can afford to take less than that.”

Pour Thyself through Me

Spirit of the living God, pray Thy mind through me;
Nothing less than Spirit-power do I ask of Thee.
Purge me, urge me, guide me, hide me—
Spirit of the living God, pray Thy mind through me.

Power of the eternal God, flow Thy power through me;
Holy, Pentecostal power do I ask of Thee.
Lowly, holy, for Thy glory—
Power of the eternal God, flow Thy power through me.

Mercy of the living God, channel love through me;
Nothing less than Calvary love meets the need for me.
Love that’s burning, love that’s yearning—
Mercy of the living God, channel love through me.

Grace of God, eternal grace, reach the lost through me;
Tenderness for every race do I ask of Thee.
Love them, lift them, reach them, teach them—
Grace of God, eternal grace, reach the lost through me.

Life of God, eternal life, pour Thyself through me;
Nothing less than Thine own life do I ask of Thee.
Life compelling, life that’s telling—
Life of God, eternal life, pour Thyself through me.

Heart Breathings, Leonard Ravenhill.