“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.”—I Peter 1:6

My soul! it is too difficult a task to flesh and blood, but it is among the most blessed triumphs of grace, to glory in tribulation, that the power of Jesus may rest upon the soul. Pause over the subject, and see whether in the little exercises of thy life, such things are among thine experiences. A soul must be truly taught of God the Father; truly acquainted with Jesus, and living near to him; and truly receiving the sweet and constant influences of the Holy Ghost; when, in the absence of the streams of all creature comforts, he is solacing himself at the fountain-head; and, amidst also the fiery darts of temptations! But, my soul, if this be thy happy portion, thou must have acquired it in the school of grace. There are some precious marks by which thou wilt ascertain these things. As, first – I must see that the manifold temptations, be they of what kind or number they may, are in the permissions of Jesus must trace the footsteps of Jesus in them, the hand Jesus directing me through them, the voice of Jesus must hear in them; and, in short, his sacred Person regulating and ordering all the several parts of them. If I see his love, his wisdom, his grace, his goodwill, in all the appointment; whatever heaviness the temptations themselves induce, there will still be cause left for joy – yea, for great joy. Moreover, it will be an additional alleviation to soften their pressure, if through the whole of their exercise, the soul be enabled to keep in view, that God’s glory, and my soul’s happiness, will be the sure issue of them. If I can realize Jesus’s presence, as I pass through them, and interpret, with an application to myself that blessed promise, in which the Lord saith, “I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end;” these mercies mingled with the trial, will sweeten, and almost take away all its bitter. And, lastly, to add no more – If, my soul, the Holy Ghost should lead out thine whole heart upon the Person of Jesus during the conflict, and by making thee sensible of thy weakness, to take shelter in him, and to lean altogether upon his strength; so that thou art able to believe and to depend upon the fulfilment of his promise, when, to the eye of sense, there doth not seem a way by which that promise may be fulfilled; these are foundations for rejoicing, and of great rejoicing too; because they are all out of thyself, and centered in Him, with whom there is no possibility of change. These are, like the Michtams of David, precious, golden things. For this is to live upon Jesus, to rejoice in Jesus, and to find in him a suited strength for every need. Blessed will be these exercises, my soul, if thou art enabled thus to act under manifold temptations.


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