by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
God tests His saints for great things beyond
It is a rule of the Scriptures, and a rule, which is confirmed by and exemplified in the long history of the Church and her saints, that when God has a particularly great task for a man to perform, He generally does try him. I care not which biography you pick up; you may take the life of any man who has been signally used by God, and you will find that there has been a severe time of testing and of trial in his experience….
So one may have to pass through this kind of experience because of some great task ahead. Look at Joseph.... Can you imagine a more dismal kind of life? Everybody seemed to be against him.... But in all this God was only preparing the man for the great position that He had in store for him. And it is the same with all the great men of the Bible. Look at the suffering of a man like David.... The Apostle Paul was no exception (2 Corinthians 11 and 12)....
God sometimes prepares a man for a great trial ... by giving him some lesser trials. It is there that I see the love of God shining out so gloriously. There are certain great trials that come in life, and it would be a terrible thing for people suddenly to be plunged into a great trial from the undisturbed and even tenor of their ways. So God sometimes, in His tenderness and love, sends lesser trials to prepare us for the greater ones. "If need be" (1 Peter 1:6)—if such proves needful, if God, in looking upon us as our Father, sees that this is just what we need at that moment.
So we start with this great principle, that God sees and knows what is best for us and what is needful. We do not see, but God always does; and, as our Heavenly Father, He sees the need, and He prescribes the appropriate trial which is destined for our good.
Spiritual Depression, pp. 225-6
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
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