Mar 16, 2012
Charles Spurgeon was a pastor in England in the 1800′s.
He preached to thousands each Sunday and his sermons were mailed around the world. But he also experienced severe pain and recurring depression.
Here’s how he saw these trials —
From God’s Hand
“It would be a very sharp and trying experience to me to think that I have an affliction which God never sent me, that the bitter cup was never filled by his hand, that my trials were never measured out by him, nor sent to me by his arrangement of their weight and quantity.”
They Brought Him Much Grace
“I am afraid that all the grace that I have got of my comfortable and easy times and happy hours, might almost lie on a penny. But the good that I have received from my sorrows, and pains, and griefs, is altogether incalculable … Affliction is the best bit of furniture in my house. It is the best book in a minister’s library.”
He Prayed That God Would Deliver Him
“When I was racked some months ago with pain, to an extreme degree, so that I could no longer bear it without crying out, I asked all to go from the room, and leave me alone; and then I had nothing I could say to God but this —
‘Thou are my Father, and I am thy child; and thou, as a Father art tender and full of mercy.
‘I could not bear to see my child suffer as thou makest me suffer, and if I saw him tormented as I am now, I would do what I could to help him, and put my arms under him to sustain him.
‘Wilt thou hide thy face from me, my Father? Wilt thou still lay on a heavy hand, and not give me a smile from thy countenance?’
“So I pleaded, and I ventured to say, when I was quiet, and they came back who watched me: ‘I shall never have such pain again from this moment, for God has heard my prayer.’ I bless God that ease came and the racking pain never returned.”
(These quotes are from John Piper’s “Charles Spurgeon: Preaching Through Adversity,” pp.24-25.)
- Spurgeon saw that every trial was from God’s loving and good hand (Gen 50:20; Job 1:21-22; Job 2:10; Lam 3:37-38; Amos 3:6; Acts 14:23; 1Pe 4:12-13).
- He saw that one reason God brought trials was to give him more grace — more experienced nearness to Christ. Spurgeon said trials brought him far more grace than ease and comfort did (Psa 119:67; Rom 5:3-5; 2Co 12:9-10; Heb 12:10; James 1:2-4; 1Pe 1:6-7).
- Even though he believed God brought the trials, Spurgeon still prayed — passionately and earnestly — that God would remove them. And sometimes God did. (John 9:2-3; 2Cor 12:8-9; James 5:14-16).
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful —
- Asking Why? Here’s God’s Loving Purpose For Every Trial
- Does God Ordain Every Trial?
- Facing Problems Or Trials?
- Facing a Trial? Jesus is the Super-Piling
(Picture is from Wikimedia Commons.)