It has been granted to you . . . to suffer for him. (Philippians 1: 29)
God runs a costly school, for many of His lessons are learned through tears. Richard Baxter, the seventeenth-century Puritan preacher, once said, “O God, I thank You for the discipline I have endured in this body for fifty-eight years.” And he certainly is not the only person who has turned trouble into triumph.
Soon the school of our heavenly Father will close for us, for the end of the school term is closer every day. May we never run from a difficult lesson or flinch from the rod of discipline. Richer will be our crown, and sweeter will heaven be, if we cheerfully endure to the end. Then we will graduate in glory.
~Theodore L. Cuyler
The world’s finest china is fired in ovens at least three times, and some many more. Dresden china is always fired three times. Why is it forced to endure such intense heat? Shouldn’t once or twice be enough? No, it is necessary to fire the china three times so the gold, crimson, and other colors are brighter, more beautiful, and permanently attached.
We are fashioned after the same principle. The human trials of life are burned into us numerous times, and through God’s grace, beautiful colors are formed in us and made to shine forever.
Earth’s fairest flowers grow not on sunny plain,
But where some vast upheaval tore in twain
The smiling land.
After the whirlwind’s devastating blast,
And molten lava, fire, and ashes fall,
God’s still small voice breathes healing over all.
From broken rocks and fern-clad chasms deep,
Flow living waters as from hearts that weep,
There in the afterglow soft dews distill
And angels tend God’s plants when night falls still,
And the Beloved passing by the way
Will gather lilies at the break of day.
~J. H. D.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 335-336). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.