Looking unto Jesus and not at our troubles, to count them, to weigh them, to find perhaps a certain strange satisfaction in tasting their bitterness. Apart from Jesus trouble does not sanctify—it hardens or crushes. It produces not patience, but rebellion; not sympathy, but selfishness; not hope (Rom. 5:3-5), but despair. Only under the shadow of the cross can we appreciate the true weight of our own troubles and accept them each day from His hand with love, with gratitude and with joy. Only then can we find for ourselves and for others a source of blessing.
Oh the selfish melancholy of melodrama! The young girl pouts in front of the mirror. Her journal is on her knee having been recently filled with all her complaints of the day. How many hours are wasted ruminating on our miseries! Troubles do not leave us when we meditate upon them. Instead as Monod notes, such thoughts produce bitterness, willfulness, selfishness, and despair.
Christ has left us in the world. We are here not to lament our circumstances but to be led by Christ in triumph over them. We are shallow bottomed boats, easily capsized, not by waves, but by ripples. Yet in the great storms of life we conquer the crushing waves when Jesus is there with us. What glory He receives when the storms of Hell cannot over throw us!
Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. … I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. John 17:11;15,16
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
Can We Pray? Thank You Father for the reminder that on that dark cross You were working our greatest victory. And in every trouble and trial of life still You are at work weaving a testimony of Your power to save to the uttermost. Lord Jesus consume my view so that I may see only You in triumphs and even in troubles. Amen