It is too difficult a task for flesh and blood, but to glory in tribulation is among the most blessed triumphs of grace, and that the power of Jesus rests on the soul. Pause over the subject, and see whether in the little exercises of life, you have experienced this. To glory in tribulation a soul must be truly taught of God, acquainted with Jesus and living near to Him, and truly receiving the sweet and constant influences of the Holy Ghost. If, in the absence of all creature comforts and amidst the fiery darts of temptations you can solace yourself at the fountain head, you must have acquired it in the school of grace.
First, we must see that the manifold temptations—of whatever kind or number they may be—are in the permissions of Jesus. We must trace the footsteps of Jesus in them, the hand of Jesus directing us through them, the voice of Jesus we must hear in them; and, in short, His sacred person regulating and ordering all the several parts of them. If I see His love, His wisdom, His grace, His goodwill, in all the appointments of life, there will still be cause left for joy—yea, for great joy.
Moreover, it will be an additional alleviation to soften their pressure, if through the whole of their exercise, the soul is enabled to keep in view that God’s glory and my soul’s happiness, will be the sure issue of them. If I can realize Jesus’ presence, as I pass through them, and interpret, with an application to myself that blessed promise, in which the Lord said, “I know the thoughts I think toward you … thoughts of peace, and not of evil,” these mercies mingled with the trial, will sweeten, and almost take away all its bitter.
And, lastly, if the Holy Ghost should lead your whole heart to Jesus during the conflict, to take shelter in Him, and to lean altogether on His strength; so that you are able to believe and to depend on the fulfillment of His promise, when, to the eye of sense, there seems no way by which that promise will be fulfilled; these are foundations for rejoicing, and of great rejoicing too, because they are not of yourself but centered in Him, with whom there is no possibility of change. This, dear Christian, is to live on Jesus, to rejoice in Jesus, and to find in Him strength suited for every need.