February 5: The Discipline Of Disappointments
Without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5.
Oh, that the Church of Christ, and each individual member, would but realize this truth; that simpler, closer, more experimental views of Jesus would essentially strengthen the tone of inward spirituality and comfort! The great secret of all comfort in seasons of affliction is to take the affliction, as it comes, simply to Christ; and the great secret of all holiness is to take the corruption, as it rises, simply to Christ. It is this living upon Christ for all he needs, this going to Christ under all circumstances, and at all seasons, which forms the happy and holy life of a child of God. There is no other path for him to walk in.
The moment he turns from Christ he becomes like a vessel loosed from its moorings, and driven at the mercy of the winds from billow to billow. Christ must be all in all to him; friends, domestic comforts, Church privileges, ordinances, means of grace, nothing must suffice for Jesus. And why does the Lord so frequently discipline the soul? Why remove friends, why blight domestic comforts, why rob us of Church privileges, why close up the ordinances, and write death upon the means of grace? Oh, why? but to open a way through which He Himself might enter the believer, and convince that lonely, bereaved, and desolate heart that He is a substitute for everything, while nothing shall ever be a substitute for Him.
He will have the supreme affection of His saints; they shall find their all in Him; and to this end He sends afflictions, crosses, and disappointments, but to wean them from their idols and draw them to Himself.