December: Trials and PainThe devil, things and people being what they are, it is necessary forGod to use the hammer, the file and the furnace in His holy work ofpreparing a saint for true sainthood. It is doubtful whether God canbless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.The Root of the Righteous, 157.December 18Trials and Pain: We May Expect TroublesThese things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. Inthe world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I haveovercome the world.--John 16:33We are all idealists. We picture to ourselves a life on earthcompletely free from every hindrance, a kind of spiritual Utopiawhere we can always control events, where we can move about asfavorites of heaven, adjusting circumstances to suit ourselves.This we feel would be quite compatible with the life of faith andin keeping with the privileged place we hold as children of God.In thinking thus we simply misplace ourselves; we mistake earth forheaven and expect conditions here below which can never be realizedtill we reach the better world above. While we live we may expecttroubles, and plenty of them. We are never promised a life withoutproblems as long as we remain among fallen men....What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to livewith them until such time as God delivers us from them. If wecannot remove them, then we must pray for grace to endure themwithout murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for ourspiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them orendure them unwillingly. Of God and Men, pp. 121-122"Lord, I'm so homesick for heaven. But until You allow me to comehome, I do indeed 'pray for grace to endure [problems] withoutmurmuring.' Amen."