Sufferings and Sorrows
We live in a day of religious fancies. Ideal saints and theoretical Christians are found on every hand. “Rejoicing novices” abound; but “groaning veterans” are thinly strewn in these days of godless profession.
To all the elect of God, but despised of men, a sympathizing Saviour says, “Ye are they that have continued with Me in all My temptations” (Luke 22:28).
The seven times’ heated furnace and the surging flood, the scorching flame and the deep waterfloods, the barren heath and the dreary dungeon must all be experienced by the followers of the suffering Saviour.
The lot of the Master which He had to the full, ay, without measure, must be the servant’s in measure. He who is blessed with the high honour of keeping company with Jesus must bear the cross before He wears the crown.
The soldier who marches to victory with the great Captain of salvation must first endure hardness in the conflict.
Throughout the whole range of Divine revelation and spiritual experience you see the saint to be a man of temptation, trial, and tribulation.
Sufferings and sorrows of every shape and name attend him all the way through the wilderness. Now he is bowed down, then he experiences a gracious lift from his Elder Brother’s hand.
Now mourning under a deep sense of sin, then rejoicing with the sweet experience of pardoning mercy. Now assailed by Satan’s fierce temptations, then encouraged with the enjoyment of restoring and preserving grace. Now begging at Mercy’s door, then leaning and feasting upon the bosom of Everlasting Love. When sin and guilt distress the conscience, when repeated trials bow down the spirits, “when sore afflictions crush the soul,” when headaches and heartaches distract the mind, when losses and crosses are endured, when temptations and sufferings abound, when the persecuting sneer annoys, when disappointments depress, when base and cruel misrepresentations disturb one’s peace, and groveling ingratitude tries the patience, then, if nothing can warm and cheer the heart but the presence and sympathy of Jesus, there is a blessed evidence of the sufferings of Christ abounding in us.
By Thomas Bradbury