Afflictions, its fruits

I. Kings 17:17,24                                                                                                                               Trials have a way to disciple us. Trials is not proof of God’s anger.

Sorrow darkens the home of God’s beloved. This was a home of faith and ministering love “And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.”(v.17).

There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, but unto none of them was he sent, but unto this widow in a city of Sidon. Why did our Lord refer to this at the time He did in (Luke 4. 25) if it were not just to show them that salvation is through the grace of God, delighting to lift up the despised among men, and the unworthy in the sight of God But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;”

Affliction is no more proof of wrath than is the farmer’s plowing of his field. To him, with his eye upon the future harvest, it is only the needful preparation of the soil.

Our great God, with his eye upon the eternal glory, must open a bed within the soul’s depth for the need of eternal life “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven…How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (I.Cor:12:2,3)

Her son, her only son, is taken away from her. God’s plow sinks deep that his work may be rightly done.

The very greatness of our anguish is a measure by which we may gauge the greatness of the Lord’s purpose and of the love which will not suffer us to miss the blessing “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (I.Pt.4:12).

What will this fruits yields. It reveals our need.

She may have been conscious daily of the goodness of God and yet been blind to the fact that she needed more than she had yet received “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” (Ac.19:2).

God now awakens her to the sense of her unworthiness “What have I to do with thee? To the remembrance of her transgression “Art thou come to call my sin to remembrance”

Isaiah was remind of his sin as he stood before the Lord in (Isa.6:5) “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

In God’s presence we all see our sin. It was Isaiah who said “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isa.64:6)

The darkness of trouble is the shadow of guilt. There is darkness because there is need of salvation.

Sins may be pardoned, but God must open up a gulf between the soul and sin.

The time of trouble is meant to be a time of heart-searching and of confession “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” (Ps.51:2,3).

Troubles will cause us to pray.Elijah’s heart was poured in exclamation and earnest entreaty. “And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.” (v.20).

His body, soul, and his spirit were all consecrated to this great work of reviving “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deut.6:4,5).

In the sharpness of our need our cry gains strength, we press, in our urgency, into the Divine presence “For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” (Mk.5:28).

These times open up a way to God by which we find ready access ever after “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb.4:16)

Troubles leads to the vision of God’s glory. “And the Lord heard,” (v.20)

The pray was followed by a revelation of God’s power such as till them man had never seen, the dead was raised “Ask and ye shall receive.”

The person that asks will see God’s salvation and be filled with the light of the divine glory. “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev.1:17,18).

It deepens trust. “Now by this I know,” (v.24) When we need God’s help, our soul is bound to him by the strongest ties “And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” (Gen.32:26,27).

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