The Morning Reading for October 7 by Charles Spurgeon is copied below. What purpose do afflictions serve? This is godly food for thought.
A list of classic devotionals can be found for free downloads here. I can't speak to all of them listed, but I have found Streams in the Desert to be excellent along with Morning and Evening. May we hold fast to the Lord through all kinds of weather. He is the Lord of the wind and the rain.
In Christ's love, Erika
Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? — Num 11:11
Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to test our faith. If our faith is worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilding is afraid of fire but gold is not. The plastic gem dreads to be touched by the diamond but the true jewel fears no test.
It is a false faith—which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable. That alone is true faith—which clings to the Lord when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, “Though He slays me—yet will I trust in Him,” is heaven-born faith.
The Lord afflicts His servants to glorify Himself, for He is greatly glorified in the graces of His people, which are His own handiwork. “We rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope!” The Lord is honored by these growing virtues.
We would never know the music of the harp—if the strings were left untouched. We would never enjoy the juice of the grape—if it were not trodden in the winepress. We would never discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon—if it were not pressed and beaten. We would never feel the warmth of fire—if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are revealed by the trials through which His vessels of mercy are permitted to pass.
Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be dark shadows in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven—if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not peace be sweeter—after conflict? Will not rest be more welcome—after toil? Will not the bliss of the glorified—be enhanced by the recollection of past sufferings?
There are many other comfortable answers to the question with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day long.