What a world it is of sin and sorrow! How everything serves to remind us that we are all passing away! I feel for you in your trials and afflictions, so various, painful, and multiplied. But dare I wish you free from what the all-wise, all-gracious Lord lays upon you? Could He not in a moment remove them all? Our Father sees fit in His wisdom and mercy to afflict His children, and we know that He would not do so unless it were for the good of their soul. What can we say then? All we can do is to beg of the Lord that He would support, comfort, and bless them. It is in the furnace that we learn our need of realities, and our own helplessness and inability. The furnace also brings to our mind the shortness of life, and how vain all things are here below.
Affliction are sent to . . . wean from this world, make life burdensome, and death desirable. I well know that the poor coward flesh is fretful and impatient under afflictions, and would gladly have a smoother, easier path. But we cannot choose our own trials, nor our own afflictions. All are appointed in fixed weight and measure; and the promise is that all things shall work together for good to those who love God.
Wherever we go, and wherever we are, we must expect trials to arise. But it will be our wisdom and mercy to submit to what we cannot alter, and not fret or repine under the trial--but accept it as sent for our good. We need trial upon trial, and stroke upon stroke to bring our soul out of carnality. We slip insensibly into carnal ease; but afflictions and trials of body and mind stir us up to some degree of earnestness in prayer, show us the emptiness and vanity of earthly things, make us feel the suitability and preciousness of the Lord Jesus. The path in which you have been led so many years is a safe way, though a rough and rugged way. The end will make amends for all! By Joseph Philpot