What a friend from Indonesia recently wrote in a letter was such an encouragement to me just right now:
‚…but one thing I read recently in the midst of the anxiety over … gave me great encouragement: It was from a section of John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion that discusses the Christian life. He writes,
„…Another reason the Lord afflicts His people is to test their endurance and to train them in obedience.
They are quite unable to produce obedience unless He Himself empowers them.
But it pleases Him to illuminate and testify by clear proofs to those graces that He has bestowed on the saints, so that those graces don’t lie hidden and idle.
In Scripture, therefore, God is said to test His servants‘ endurance when He puts on display that strength and constancy in suffering that He has given to them…
God Himself acts justly when He ordains circumstances that excite the virtues He has given to believers, so that those virtues don’t escape notice or, indeed, remain unused and waste away.
There is, then, good reason for difficult circumstances in the lives of the saints, since they create endurance in them.“ ‚
- Holiness – Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots
Our Season of Probation — Unsere Zeit der Grundausbildung (Deutsch & English)
- John Bunyan; Pilgrims Progress (Die Pilgerreise) (Deutsch & English)