“The hardest blow that our God ever strikes, if it puts us right and separates us from self and sin, and carnal policy, is a coup de grace, a blow of love.
If it ends our life of selfishness, and brings us back into the life of trust, it is a blessed blow. When God blesses His people most it is by terrible things in righteousness.
He smote David to heal him. He fetched him out from the snare of the Philistine fowler, and delivered him from the noisome pestilence of heathen association, by a way that brought the tears into his eyes till he had no more power to weep.
Now the servant of the Lord begins to see the wonderful hand of God, and he shall yet say, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept Thy word.”
I, the preacher of this hour, beg to bear my little witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days, and when God has seemed most cruel to me he has then been most kind.
If there is anything in this world for which I would bless Him more than for anything else it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things the richest, tenderest love has been manifested towards me.
I pray you, dear friends, if you are at this time very low, and greatly distressed, encourage yourselves in the abundant faithfulness of the God who hides Himself.
Our Father’s wagons rumble most heavily when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of His grace. Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes.
The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy. We may not ask for trouble, but if we were wise we should look upon it as the shadow of an unusually great blessing.
Dread the calm, it is often treacherous, and beneath its wing the pestilence is lurking. Fear not the storm, it brings healing in its wings, and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.
Blessed be the Lord, whose way is in the whirlwind, and who makes the clouds to be the dust of His feet.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon, “David Encouraging Himself in God”, inThe Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 27 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1881), 372–373. Spurgeon preached this sermon on 1 Samuel 30:6-8 on June 26, 1881.