EPIPHANY I – TUESDAY
LESSON: PSALM 94:12-15
My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him. For the Lord disciplines him who he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. Hebrews 12:5,6
Trials, chastenings, and temptations come upon us so that our faith may be exercised and become stronger and stronger. God especially arranges matters in this way to preserve His children from the kinds of misfortune which might otherwise come upon us.
When men become boldly confident and very strong in spirit they could eventually have such confidence in themselves that they think they are capable of accomplishing everything in their own strength and power. God sometimes allows their faith to be found wanting, and to suffer an eclipse, so that they may realize who they are and say, “Even if I want to believe, I cannot.” In this way God humbles His saints and holds them to their own knowledge.
Nature and reason are always keen on falling upon God’s gifts and clinging to them as though they were attainable by man’s own abilities. God must deal with us in such a way that we realize that He must put faith into our hearts. We have no way of influencing Him to do this.
Fear of God and confidence in God must always be closely related for us. Both of these relationships must remain decisive for our lives, so that a man does not become presumptuous and too secure, and eventually come to rely upon himself. This is one reason why God allows temptations to come upon His saints.
PRAYER: Lord God, our loving, heavenly Father, we know that all things, even trials and temptations, work together for our good. Bring us safely through all trials and temptations, thus strengthening our faith as your children in and through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.