Our Perplexing Trials

“These things (the Bible) are written for our learning, for the same wisdom that ordered the paths which God’s saints trod in Bible times orders the Christian’s life today.  We should not, therefore, be too taken aback when unexpected and upsetting and discouraging things happen to us now.  What do they mean?  Simply that God in His wisdom means to make something of us which we have not attained yet, and He is dealing with us accordingly.

Perhaps He means to strengthen us in patience, good humor, compassion, humility or meekness, by giving us some extra practice in exercising these graces under especially difficult conditions.  Perhaps He has new lessons in self-denial and self-distrust to teach us.  Perhaps He wishes to break us of complacency, or unreality, or undetected forms of pride and conceit.  Perhaps His purpose is simply to draw us closer to Himself in conscious communion with Him; for it is often the case, as all the saints know, that fellowship with the Father and the Son is most vivid and sweet, and Christian joy is greatest, when the cross is heaviest.”

– J.I. Packer, Knowing God


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