Resourceful Father

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Ordained Chaplain
Oct 12, 2011
United States
It may be one of the least interesting of things, but there is much growth in knowing God’s concerns for us when we are troubled, especially when in great difficulty! It is when we are going through a trial—regardless the size, that our spiritual growth increases the most. To know that God is ever with us is the learning; and to know it’s in the difficulties that His lessons yield the highest gains, is to know His love is always the same greatness for us.

There are many things God wants us to know that only hardness can teach and yield; and we are to know, if possible, that we need not allow anything to become “troublesome” (Jhn 14:1, 27). There is much comfort in realizing He controls each and every trial, allowing us to more patiently “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2Ti 2:3)!

Resourceful Father

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness (meaningless times which all believers must traverse—NC). Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (1Co 12:9, 100—where our strength is, there is a want of His).

“I was brought low, and He helped me” (Psa 116:6). He who loves you infinitely more than any of us is making your bed in your illness. As we wait on Him we learn what His purpose is in the suffering—the wisdom of it. It comes from the deepest love; but the delay with us in being able to see the wisdom of it!

Jacob is crippled before he meets Esau: he is a self-reduced man before he is a triumphant one, through God’s own ordering. Joseph comes from a prison in Egypt to nearly the highest position there. The great gain in discipline is the helplessness which discloses the vanity of natural resources, but at the same time separates our hearts to the Father. Then we are “partakers of His holiness” (Heb 12:10).

In Jordan the living God was known; and in the tediousness and irksomeness of illness there is a sense of the emptiness of everything, and the measure of one’s real resources in the Father is found out. I have said to a dear brother before, now surrounded by his family and natural comforts, “You enjoy the Word and the Lord in your present circumstances, but I should like to know how much real spiritual enjoyment in the Lord you would have if these happy surroundings were broken up.” They were broken up afterwards, and no doubt with very great blessing to him.

In sickness one loses the power to enjoy, while in bereavement one loses the object to be enjoyed. I believe one learns differently in each. In illness I am occupied with myself; there the grievance is, and while there is life there is hope. It is my resourcelessness as to power that is impressed on me; while in bereavement it is my resourcelessness as to the place; I am lonely.

My very health can make me the more keenly to feel like a tree with its branches torn off, which can never be restored. There is an end of hope in bereavement. In the one case myself is lost for a time to me; in the other, the stay of my heart may have gone. Thus the Lord is the One who heals us in the one, and He can only fill up the blank in the other.

I think we are sometimes ready to say to the Lord Jesus, “Could You not have taught me without subjecting me to so much sorrow and humiliation? The answer I have had is, you could not be effectually taught in any other way! The Lord Jesus knows the nature of the obstacle in me (having experienced it all Himself—NC) which He has to deal with: a less efficient hand might think that it could be overcome in some other way.

—J B Stoney (1814-1897)

MJS daily devotional excerpt for March 14

“The head-knowledge of Spirit-taught study becomes the heart-knowledge of Spirit-led life, via Romans 8:28 and 29. How good it is to have a sovereign Father controlling all! –MJS

“The true value of anything is known only when it is wanted. For this reason bright days must be succeeded by dark ones. In the dreary and desolate hour to nature, we begin to know the value of the truth communicated to us in the bright day. The learning is at one time, and the proving at another. In fact, we ought to be prepared for the dark hour; so that, though it be dark, there is something so blessed, so suited, pouring its comfort and sustenance on our souls, that, after all, the dark and dreary hour becomes a more really festive time to the heart, because of the virtues of the truth now made known, more than at the time of its reception, is so happy and exhilarating.” -J.B.S.