• “But the misfortune is that people wish to direct God instead of resigning themselves to be directed by Him. We wish to take the lead, and to follow in a way of their own selection instead of submissively and passively following where God sees fit to conduct them. And hence it is, that many souls who are called to the enjoyment of God himself and mot merely to the gifts of God, spend all their lives in pursuing and in feeding on little consolations.” – Madame Guyon

Hard Love – Streams in the Desert 08/10

“When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was” (John 11:6).
In the forefront of this marvellous chapter stands the affirmation, “Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus,” as if to teach us that at the very heart and foundation of all God’s dealings with us, however dark and mysterious they may be, we must dare to believe in and assert the infinite, unmerited, and unchanging love of God. Love permits pain. The sisters never doubted that He would speed at all hazards and stay their brother from death, but, “When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.”
What a startling “therefore”! He abstained from going, not because He did not love them, but because He did love them. His love alone kept Him back from hasting at once to the dear and stricken home. Anything less than infinite love must have rushed instantly to the relief of those loved and troubled hearts, to stay their grief and to have the luxury of wiping and stanching their tears and causing sorrow and sighing to flee away. Divine love could alone hold back the impetuosity of the Saviour’s tenderheartedness until the Angel of Pain had done her work.
Who can estimate how much we owe to suffering and pain? But for them we should have little scope for many of the chief virtues of the Christian life. Where were faith, without trial to test it; or patience, with nothing to bear; or experience, without tribulation to develop it?
–Selected
“Loved! then the way will not be drear;
For One we know is ever near,
Proving it to our hearts so clear
That we are loved.
“Loved when our sky is clouded o’er,
And days of sorrow press us sore;
Still we will trust Him evermore,
For we are loved.
“Time, that affects all things below,
Can never change the love He’ll show;
The heart of Christ with love will flow,
And we are loved.”

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  • “They only did what God permitted them to do, which enabled me always to keep God in sight… When we suffer, we should always remember that God inflicts the blow. Wicked men, it is true, are not infrequently His instruments; and the fact does not diminish, but simply develops their wickedness. But when we are so mentally disposed that we love the strokes we suffer, regarding them as coming from God, and as expressions of what He sees best for us, we are then in the proper state to look forgivingly and kindly upon the subordinate instrument which He permits to smite us.” – Madame Guyon

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But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. — 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NKJV)

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