Saturday, 3 May 2014
"In the world ye shall have tribulation." John 16:33 Spurgeon
Are you asking the reason of this, believer? Look upward to thy heavenly Father, and behold him pure and holy. Do you know that you are one day to be like him? Will you easily be conformed to his image? Will you not require much refining in the furnace of affliction to purify you? Will it be an easy thing to get rid of your corruptions, and make you perfect even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect?
Next, Christian, turn your eye downward. Do you know what foes you have beneath your feet? you were once a servant of Satan, and no king will willingly lose his subjects. Do you think that Satan will let you alone? No, he will be always at you, for he "goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." Expect trouble, therefore, Christian, when you look beneath.
Then look around you. Where are you? You are in an enemy's country, a stranger and a sojourner. The world is not your friend. If it be, then you are not God's friend, for he who is the friend of the world is the enemy of God. Be assured that you shall find enemies everywhere. When you sleep, think that you are resting on the battlefield; when you walk, suspect an ambush in every hedge. As mosquitoes are said to bite strangers more than natives, so will the trials of earth be sharpest to you.
Lastly, look within yourself, into your own heart and observe what is there. Sin and self are still within. Ah! if you had no devil to tempt you, no enemies to fight you, and no world to ensnare thee, you would still find in yourself evil enough to be a sore trouble to you, for "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked."