Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
Do you know that God has beauties for every part of the world, and He has beauties for every place of experience? There are views to be seen from the tops of the Alps that you can never see elsewhere.
Aye, but there are beauties to be seen in the depths of the dell that you could never see on the tops of the mountains; there are glories to be seen on Pisgah, wondrous sights to be beheld when by faith we stand on Tabor, but there are also beauties to be seen in our Gethsemanes, and some marvelously sweet flowers are to be culled by the edge of the dens of leopards.
Men will never become great in divinity until they become great in suffering. “Ah,” said Luther, “affliction is the best book in my library.” And let me add that the best leaf in the book of affliction is the blackest of all the leaves, the leaf called heaviness, when the spirit sinks within us, and we cannot endure as we wish could wish.
Those who have been in the chamber of affliction know how to comfort those who are there. Do not believe that any man will become a physician unless he walks the hospitals, and I am sure that no one will become a divine or become a comforter unless he lies in the hospital as well as walks through it and has to suffer himself.1
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