Have you been suffering lately? Have you asked God why you have to endure this pain? In this week's Expositor's Quote, Charles Spurgeon speaks to your situation
May not severe discipline fall to the lot of some to qualify them for their office of under-shepherds? We cannot speak with consoling authority to an experience which we have never known. The suffering know those who have themselves suffered, and their smell is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed. The "word to the weary" is not learned except by an ear which has bled while the awl has fastened it to the door-post. "The complete pastor's" life will be an epitome of the lives of his people, and they will turn to his preaching as men do to David's Psalms, to see themselves and their sorrows, as in a mirror. Their needs will be the reason for his griefs. As to the Lord himself, perfect equipment for his work came only through suffering, so must it be to those who are called to follow him in binding up the broken-hearted, and loosing the prisoners. Souls still remain in our churches to whose deep and dark experience we shall never be able to minister till we also have been plunged in the abyss where all Jehovah's waves roll over our heads. If this be the fact - and we are sure it is - then may we heartily welcome anything which will make us fitter channels of blessing. For the elect's sake it shall be joy to endure all things.
Charles Spurgeon, “Laid Aside. Why?” Sword and Trowel, May 1876.
[May we rejoice always as the Lord does to us whatever is necessary to enable us to speak with consoling authority, so that we can speak both from the Word and from experience as we shine the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ on the darkness of our people's suffering - Coty]
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