Believe God’s Word and power more than you believe your own feelings and experiences. Your Rock is Christ, and it is not the Rock which ebbs and flows, but your seas.
Whenever I find myself in the cellar of affliction, I always look for the wine.
Do not focus your thoughts among the confused wheels of secondary causes, as -‘O, if this had been, then this had not followed!’ Look up to the master motion of the first wheel. In building, we see hewn stones and timbers under hammers and axes, yet the house in this beauty we do not see at the present, but it is in the mind of the builder. Even so we do not presently see the outcome of God’s decrees with his blessed purpose. It is hard to believe when his purpose is hidden and under the ground. Providence has a thousand keys to deliver His own, even when all hope is gone. Let us be faithful and care for our own part, which is to do and suffer for Him, and lay Christ’s part on Himself and leave it there; duties are ours and all events are the Lord’s.
Faint not; the miles to heaven are but few and short.
If your Lord calls you to suffering, do not be dismayed, for He will provide a deeper portion of Christ in your suffering. The softest pillow will be placed under your head though you must set your bare feet among thorns. Do not be afraid of suffering for Christ, for He has a sweet peace for a sufferer. God has called you to Christ’s side, and if the wind is now in His face, you cannot expect to rest on the sheltered side of the hill. The greatest temptation out of hell is to live without trials. Faith grows more with the sharp winter storm in its face. Grace withers without adversity. You cannot sneak quietly into heaven without a cross. They cut away the pieces of our corruption. Lord, please cut, carve, and wound; Lord, do anything to perfect Your image in us and make us fit for glory! We need winnowing before we enter the kingdom of God.
O what I owe to the file, hammer, and furnace! Why should I be surprised at the plough that makes such deep furrows in my soul? Whatever direction the wind blows, it will blow us to the Lord. His hand will direct us safely to the heavenly shore to find the weight of eternal glory. As we look back to our pains and suffering, we shall see that suffering is not worthy to be compared to our first night’s welcome home in heaven. If we could smell of heaven and our country above, our crosses would not bite us. Lay all your loads by faith on Christ, ease yourself, and let Him bear all. He can, He does, and He will bear you. Whether God comes with a rod or a crown, He comes with Himself. “Have courage, I am your salvation!” Welcome, welcome Jesus!”
Your heart is not the compass that God steers by.
What fools are we who, like new-born princes weeping in the cradle, know not that there is a kingdom before them; then let our Lord’s sweet hand square us, hammer us and strike off the knots of pride, self-love, world-worship and infidelity, that He may make us stones and pillars in His Father’s house.
— Samuel Rutherford