Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Trials help to strengthen us
You may have learned all about anchors, sir, but you never know the value of a sheet anchor till you have got into a storm. You may read and hear on shore all about a tempest, and you may have met with beautiful descriptions of it, and think you know how it tosses the ship about; but I will warrant you that a good heave or two will let you know more about sea-sickness and the effects of those mighty tempests that rouse the billows and rock the vessels than all the books you have ever read for sound instruction or seasonable entertainment. And how much has the character of God been revealed to us in trouble.
We do not know our friends till we fall into adversity; neither is that "friend who sticketh closer than a brother" truly prized by us till we are brought into trouble, and then we know his power to sympathize and to succor. Trials help to strengthen us. It is impossible for a Christian to be very strong — in certain ways, at any rate — unless he grapple with difficulties and endure hardships. There is no proving your courage and prowess in war, except you smell gunpowder, and are exposed to the dread artillery. There is no learning to be strong in the battle except you pass through trouble: depend upon it. My arm would soon weary if I had to lift the blacksmith’s hammer for an hour or two, and make horseshoes. I am afraid I should soon give up the business. But the blacksmith’s arm does not ache, for he has been at it so many years, and he rings out a tune on the anvil, so joyfully does his strong arm do the work. Practice has strengthened him. And so, when we have become inured to trial and trouble, faith is to us a far more simple matter than it was before, and we become "strong in the Lord and in the power of his might."
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Sihon and Og, Or Mercies In Detail." Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.