Beneficial Troubles

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Dear Sister,—How all these things have grieved me! This you will readily understand without my telling you so. I will not leave your letter unanswered, although I have not much to tell you, owing to the distance and the few facts that I am in possession of. Alas! I expected this trial when I left Lausanne. I said so, without going into details, to the brothers who came to induce me to stay, and this was what tried me much more when leaving than the thought of the troubles which are always the glory of God's children, and which strengthen them where there is faith. I was hoping all had passed over without a storm; and here is something new to bring to God, and to put faith into practice by trusting to Him. This is what gives me joy, however much I may be tried, and this is not a moment when circumstances smile upon me. But that only increases my confidence in God.
One thing that strikes me is, that the persons you name are precisely the ones who had difficulty in following the path at all times, who always hesitated in the path. I only speak from your letter. Mr. G. said nothing to me about it. He communicated to me the letter that the brethren wrote to Mr. F. O. I had written so far when I received a letter from-, who relates to me a stormy meeting which took place since. You will be surprised to know that I am quite encouraged and made happy in my soul. I am so fully convinced, while owning all my wretchedness, that I have labored sincerely for the Lord, and for Him only, that I feel the matter is so entirely His own and in His hands, that it has inspired me with full confidence. I am happier and more confident than before receiving—'s later. You will be surprised at this, and I am so myself, although I should not be; it is not reasoning upon it, but the sight and encouragement of God; I feel the whole matter is His. It is quite astonishing how joy and confidence fill my heart, so strongly do I feel the affair to be His. I am happy. I do not judge by the circumstances; perhaps there has been a want of discernment, of rectitude of mind, of humility, this would be sad, but faith will be blessed, and those that walk with God, God will walk with them. This sifting was doubtless needed. I attribute to myself for the most part the necessity of it.... God knows, but what is most amiable if it is not faith, could not be blessed.
The circumstances are so changed since your letter left Lausanne, that what I might say would perhaps no longer be applicable. But this is what I say; the walk of faith will be blessed, whatever is not will not. Perhaps there has been a little precipitation at Geneva, although there are some brothers who think they have remained too long, but here there is no question of that. The expectation of such a trial was what exercised me most with regard to Lausanne when I left there. I think I have said so already, but it was necessary in order that one should be placed in the pure atmosphere of divinely given faith, and that one should be happy to be there. The conscience will be at work, and God will bless His own. He turns all into good for them that love Him. That is my thought. I bless God with all,my heart and spirit. Perhaps you will think it is because I am at ease that I take the thing so quietly. Inwardly I am, but outwardly I have had exercises of faith more painful even than at Lausanne. But God chews Himself in them. He makes His own feel that His support is worth all the trouble in the world; I am sure of it, and the sufferings, light as they are, do not dim the crown. If we are faithful, we shall relate our days of trial afterward with surprise at the faithfulness of God and our small faith, even in our best moments. Salute the brethren. I shall probably get some news from them; they shall hear from me when I have something to communicate to them which testifies of the presence of the hand and power of God for us, which can fortify them. Grace and peace be with you....
Your brother and servant in the faith.
Plymouth,
September 24th, 1845.