Joy and Sorrow

Some of God’s people are especially endowed with characteristics and providentially led through circumstances so that they experience the extremes of both joy and sorrow. Peter, James and John witnessed the greatest sorrow in the garden of Gethsemane and the greatest joy on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured. None of the others witnessed these scenes. We cannot really enjoy the joys God blesses us with unless we have been through the sorrows Satan is permitted to put upon us. Satan can do no more than what my Father pleases. The only reason Satan is in existence is because God has a purpose in him. God is sovereign; Satan is under His direct control! Satan realized God had control over him, for he had to get permission from God to afflict Job. These afflictions Job had were blessings in disguise. Satan meant it for harm but God meant it unto good. This is expressed verbatim in regard to the treatment of Joseph by his brethren. See Genesis 50:20: “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

I am persuaded that “All things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). God uses darkness to make light glorious; the furnace of afflictions to make the deliverance marvelous; in fact, it is good that all things have their opposite in order to prove to the children of promise that which is good and acceptable to God! We cannot understand it now, but we shall someday.

— E. J. Lambert

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