“A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to Him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession!’ Jesus did not answer her a word!” Matthew 15:22
We are apt to forget that the aim of God with us, is . . .
not to flood us with tenderness all the time,
or keep our path always strewn with flowers;
not to continually give us everything we want,
or save us from all manner of suffering.
No! God’s aim with us, is . . .
to make something of us,
and build up strong and noble character in us;
to mature qualities of grace and beauty in us,
and make us more like Christ!
To do this, He must oftentimes deny us what we ask for, and must seem indifferent to our cries. “Jesus did not answer her a word!”
There are ‘sentimental ideas of God’ prevalent, which are dishonoring to Him. There are those who imagine that God’s love means tenderness that cannot allow pain. They think that He cannot look at a moment of suffering, without relieving it; that He must instantly hear and answer every cry for the removal of trouble.
Not such a God, is the God of the Bible! When suffering is the best thing for us, He is not too sympathetic to let us suffer–until the work of suffering is accomplished in us. He is not too kind to be silent to our prayers, when it is better that He should be silent for a time, to allow . . .
faith to grow strong,
self-confidence to be swept away, and
the evil in us–to be burned out in the furnace of pain! …
THE GOD OF THE BIBLE
We must learn that God is not too tender to see us suffer, if more suffering is needed to work in us the discipline that will make us like Christ!
Suppose for a moment, that God immediately gave us everything we ask for–and immediately removed every little pain, trouble, difficulty, and hardness that we seek to have removed. What would be the result of us? We would become weak–unable to endure suffering, to bear trial, to carry burdens, or to struggle. We would be only children always, and would never rise into manly strength.
On the other hand, however, in God’s wise and firm treatment of us, He teaches us the great lessons which make us strong with the strength of Christ Himself.
He teaches us to yield our own will to Him
and develops in us patience, faith, love, hope and peace. He trains us to endure hardness, that we may grow heroic, courageous and strong. …
It is well for us to make careful note of this–that in all God’s delays when we pray, His aim is some good in us.
At the least, we may always know that silence is not refusal–that God hears and cares; and that when our faith has learned its lessons–He will answer in blessing!
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