Thou Knowest Not
unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which
thou knowest not. Jer. 33:3.
do not always consider that the sanctification we so earnestly desire and
for which we pray so earnestly is brought about through the truth and, by
the providence of God, in a manner we least expect. When we look for joy,
behold there is sorrow. When we expect peace, we frequently have distrust
and doubt because we find ourselves plunged into trials we cannot avoid. In
these trials we are having the answers to our prayers. In order for us to
be purified, the fire of affliction must kindle upon us, and our will must
be brought into conformity to the will of God. In order to be conformed to
the image of our Saviour, we pass through a most painful process of refining.
The very ones that we regard the most dear upon the earth may cause us the
greatest sorrow and trial. They may view us in the wrong light. They may think
us in error, and that we are deceiving and degrading ourselves because we
follow the dictates of enlightened conscience in seeking for the truth as
for hid treasures. . . .
prayers for conformity to the image of Christ may not be answered exactly
as we desire. We may be tested and proved, for God sees it best to put us
under a course of discipline which is essential for us before we are fit subjects
for the blessing we crave. We should not become discouraged and give way to
doubt, and think that our prayers are not noticed. We should rely more securely
upon Christ and leave our case with God to answer our prayers in His own way.
God has not promised to bestow His blessings through the channels we have
marked out. God is too wise to err and too regardful of our good to allow
us to choose for ourselves.
plans of God are always the best, although we may not always discern them.
Perfection of Christian character can be obtained only through labor, conflict,
and self-denial. . . .
inestimably precious are the gifts of God—the graces of His Spirit—and
we shall not shrink from the trying, testing process, be it ever so painful
or humiliating to us. How easy would be the way to heaven if there were no
self-denial or cross! How worldlings would rush in the way, and hypocrites
would travel in it without number! Thank God for the cross, the self-denial.
The ignominy and shame our Saviour endured for us is none too humiliating
for those saved by the purchase of His blood. Heaven will indeed be cheap
Devotional: Our Father Cares, p. 262.