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
—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.