The Lord Gave and the Lord Hath Taken Away

     Last Sunday I pointed to the fact that when we really believe the above statement and are confident that by the providence, power, and purpose of God "all things work together" for our good and His glory, it keeps us from blaming others, from bitterness, and from depression. With that in mind, I repeat an article.

     "It is GOOD for me that I have been AFFLICTED; that I MIGHT LEARN Thy ways" (Psalm 119:71). God's ways and God's word are best learned by experience and in time of trouble. When our Lord is pleased to lay His hand heavily upon us, we do not soon forget the lessons learned. When the Lord singles out a believer or a church for special affliction and adversity, it is not for punishment nor lack of love for them; it is for eternal blessings and because He does love them. "Whom the Lord loveth" he chastens, corrects, and teaches! When Job sat before his friends, who was afflicted? THE ONE GOD LOVED! When Paul stood before King Agrippa, who wore the chains? THE ONE GOD LOVED! Humanly speaking, which path of life would you prefer to live on earth, that of Esau or Jacob? Esau had the life of prosperity and ease; Jacob was full of trouble and conflict, BUT GOD LOVED JACOB! Thank God He has loved us in Christ and is pleased to teach us His ways by dealing with us in such a way that we are weaned from the world and find our life, comfort, and hope only in Him. A person who measures his blessings and relationship with God by his prosperity, health, happiness, and worldly comforts makes a fatal mistake. "If ye be without chastisement, whereof all believers are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons" (Heb. 12:8). Paul said, "Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (II Cor. 12:9-10). He who sends the trial for His glory and my good will supply the grace sufficient. Those who know the Redeemer, also know that when we are weak, we are strong; when we are poor, we are rich; when we are empty, we are full; when we die) we live!

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