April 9

“All these things are against me.” Genesis 42:36

“All things work together for good to them that love God.” Romans 8:28

When God wants to bring more power into your life, He brings more pressure. He is generating spiritual force by hard rubbing. Some do not like it and try to run away from the pressure, instead of getting the power and using it to rise above the painful causes. Opposition is essential to a true equilibrium of forces. The centripetal and centrifugal forces acting in opposition to each other keep our planet in her orbit. The one propelling, and the other repelling, so act and re-act, that instead of sweeping off into space in a pathway of desolation, she pursues her even orbit around her solar centre.

So God guides our lives. It is not enough to have an impelling force—we need just as much a repelling force, and so He holds us back by the testing ordeals of life, by the pressure of temptation and trial, by the things that seem against us, but really are furthering our way and establishing our goings.

Let us thank Him for both, let us take the weights as well as the wings, and thus divinely impelled, let us press on with faith and patience in our high and heavenly calling. (Streams in the Desert)

Spiritual power is produced by hard rubbing, but there is a fine line between strength and callous. Few of us determine the degree of hardship and challenge we face, but each of us decide their effect upon us. I prayed just this morning for a former college classmate serving at great personal sacrifice in an orphanage in Uganda, who endures wave after wave of difficulty, yet does so with a heart of worship and faith. Another dear former missionary colleague tenderly cares for his wife who is succumbing to Alzheimer’s. They display strength and beauty despite the ravages of a hideous disease. Still another family I love and served with in East Africa is pushing through arduous treatment for a son with leukemia. I would alleviate the suffering of these if it were within my ability to do so, but doubt they would choose an out if offered to them. Sacrifice does not exempt from suffering, but deepens the weight of glory in those that turn to the Father rather than away from Him in the press.

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