Divine Faithfulness in Affliction is Always for our Good
Pain is Often Better for Us Than Pleasure
God's Kindness Is Always Most Wisely Shown Us in Every Denial
God Loves Us Too Well to Give Us Things That Ultimately Would Not Be Best for Us
The Father's Purpose in All His Dealings with Us is our Sanctification, Not our Temporal Pleasure
(How's that for a title? Well, its not any longer than some of the old Puritan book titles or sermons and, for this Daily Thoughts, it does serve its purpose. - Mack T)
"I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are just, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me." Psalm 119:75
Sometimes the ways of God do seem hard,
Our fondest hopes are crushed;
Our fairest joys fade like summer flowers,
And the desires of our hearts are withheld from us.
Yet, if we are God's children, we believe that a blessing is hidden in every one of these losses or denials. It is right here that we get a glimpse into the mystery of many unanswered prayers. The things we seek, which are denied, would not work good for us if we received them, but would bring evil instead. So our Father keeps them from us, even though we desire them. And the things we plead to have removed are, at times, essential to our highest interests.
Health is supposed to be better than sickness. But there comes a time when God's kindness will be most wisely shown by denying us health. He never takes pleasure in causing us to suffer and He is touched by our sorrows. Yet He loves us too well to give us things that would harm us or to spare us the trial that is needful for our spiritual good. It will be seen in the end that many of the very richest blessings of all our lives have come to us through God's denials, His withholdings, or His shattering of our hopes and joys.
We should never forget that the purpose of all of God's dealings with His children is to sanctify us and make us vessels fit for His use. To this high and glorious end, our present pleasure and gratification must often be sacrificed. This is the true key to all the mysteries of Providence. Anything that hinders entire consecration to Christ is working us harm, and though it be our tenderest joy, it is best that it be taken away.
Prayer is not always granted, even when the heart clings with affection to its most precious joy. Nothing must hinder our consecration. We should never think first of what will give us earthly joy or comfort, but of what will fit us for doing the Master's service.
Pain is often better for us than pleasure;
Loss is often better for us than gain;
Sorrow is often better for us than joy;
Disaster is often better for us than deliverance.
Faith should know that God's withholdings from us, when He does not give what we ask, are richer blessings than were He to open to us all His treasure-houses, at whose doors we stand and knock with so great vehemence. Our unanswered prayers have just as real and as blessed answers as those which bring what we seek.
- J. R. Miller