Earthly sorrows and troubles
(J.C. Ryle, “The Ruler of the Waves” 1879)
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” John 16:33
Following Christ will not prevent our having earthly sorrows and troubles.
Perhaps the disciples had expected that Christ’s service would at any rate lift them above the reach of earthly trials. Perhaps they thought that He, who could raise the dead and heal the sick and feed multitudes with a few loaves, and cast out devils with a word — would never allow His servants to be sufferers upon earth. Perhaps they had supposed He would always grant them . . .
an easy course, and
freedom from trouble and care.
If they thought so — they were much mistaken! The Lord Jesus taught that a man may be one of His chosen servants — and yet have to go through many a trouble, and endure many a pain!
It is good to understand this clearly. It is good to understand that Christ’s service never did secure a man from all the ills that flesh is heir to — and never will. If you are a believer, you must reckon on having your share . . .
of sickness and pain,
of sorrow and tears,
of losses and crosses,
of deaths and bereavements,
of partings and separations,
of vexations and disappointments
— so long as you are in the body. Christ never promises that you shall get to Heaven without these. He has promised that all who come to Him shall have all things pertaining to life and godliness; but He has never promised that He will make them prosperous, or rich, or healthy, and that death and sorrow shall never come to their family.
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