This is another really great devotional from Streams in the Desert. I am so thoroughly enjoying reading this book again that I’ll be sharing these often.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed
and so became the father of many nations,
just as it had been said to him,
“So shall your offspring be.”
Without weakening in his faith,
he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead
—since he was about a hundred years old—
and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed. . . . Without weakening in his faith. (Romans 4:18–19)
I will never forget the statement which that great man of faith George Mueller once made to a gentleman who had asked him the best way to have strong faith:
“The only way to know strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm through severe testings.”
How true this is! You must trust when all else fails.
Dear soul, you may scarcely realize the value of your present situation. If you are enduring great afflictions right now, you are at the source of the strongest faith. God will teach you during these dark hours to have the most powerful bond to His throne you could ever know, if you will only submit.
“Don’t be afraid; just believe” (Mark 5:36). But if you ever are afraid, simply look up and say, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Ps. 56:3). Then you will be able to thank God for His school of sorrow that became for you the school of faith.
—A. B. Simpson
Great faith must first endure great trials.
God’s greatest gifts come through great pain. Can we find anything of value in the spiritual or the natural realm that has come about without tremendous toil and tears? Has there ever been any great reform, any discovery benefiting humankind, or any soul- awakening revival, without the diligence and the shedding of blood of those whose sufferings were actually the pangs of its birth? For the temple of God to be built, David had to bear intense afflictions. And for the gospel of grace to be extricated from Jewish tradition, Paul’s life had to be one long agony.
Take heart, O weary, burdened one, bowed down
Beneath your cross;
Remember that your greatest gain may come
Through greatest loss.
Your life is nobler for a sacrifice,
And more divine.
Acres of blooms are crushed to make a drop
Of perfume fine.
Because of storms that lash the ocean waves,
The waters there
Keep purer than if the heavens o’erhead
Were always fair.
The brightest banner of the skies floats not
At noonday warm;
The rainbow follows after thunderclouds,
And after storm.