Today, they were most applicable....
Would you know the reason why so many hear the Gospel year after year, and yet remain unmoved by it? Their minds seem like Bunyan's "slough of despond." Cartloads of good instruction are poured into them without producing any good effect. Their reason is convinced. Their head assents to the truth. Their conscience is sometimes pricked. Their feelings are sometimes roused. Why then do they stick fast? Why do they tarry? It is their hearts which are in fault! Some secret idol chains them down to the earth, and keeps them tied hand and foot, so that they cannot move. They need a new heart. Their picture is drawn faithfully by Ezekiel, "They sit before you as my people, and they hear your words—but they will not do them—for with their mouth they show much love—but their heart goes after their covetousness." (Ezek. 33:31.)~ J.C. Ryle
"The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons! For what son is not disciplined by his father?" Hebrews 12:6-7
Christian! God is treating you as His own dear children . . .
in what He bestows--and in what He withholds;
in what you enjoy--and in what you suffer!
Our God has made you His children by adopting you into His family, and new-creating you by His Holy Spirit. He always . . .
looks upon you as His children,
loves you as His children,
treats you as His children!
He will not GIVE you--what will harm you!
He will not PUT you--where you will be in danger!
He corrects you as His child, not in wrath--but in mercy.
He never trusts 'the rod' out of His own hand! Whatever is the MEANS of discipline--your Father is the AGENT! He works all things after the counsel of His own will.
You are at present 'under training'; you are being educated for eternity. The 'lessons' you have to learn--are for your benefit.
Do you really believe this?
Do you recognize the hand of God in everything that befalls you?
Can you say with Job, "The Lord GAVE"--health, wealth, children, friends;
"and the Lord has TAKEN AWAY--blessed be the name of the Lord!"
Can you say with Eli, "It is the Lord--let Him do what He thinks best!"