"Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept your word." Psalm 119:67
THERE is infinite wisdom in the Lord's restorings. This perfection of Jesus is clearly revealed here: in the way He adopts to restore, we see it. That He should make, as He frequently does, our very afflictions the means of restoration to our souls, unfolds the profound depth of His wisdom. This was David's prayer"Quicken me according to Your judgments:" and this was his testimony"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept Your word." The season of trial is not infrequently the sanctified season of revival. Who that has passed through the furnace has not found it so? Then the declension of the soul has been discoveredthen the hidden cause of that declension has been brought to lightthen the spirit has bowed in contrition before the Lordthen grace has been stirred up in the heart, a new sweetness has been given to prayer, a new impulse to faith, a new radiance to hope, and from the flame the gold and the silver have emerged, purified from their tin and dross. But for the production of effects like these, why the many peculiar and heavy afflictions that we sometimes see overtaking the child of God? Do not think that our Heavenly Father takes pleasure in chastening us; do not think that it delights Him to behold the writhings, the throes, and the anguish of a wounded spirit; do not think that He loves to see our tears, and hear our sighs and our groans, under the pressure of keen and crushing trial. No: He is a tender, loving Father; so tender and so loving that not one stroke, nor one cross, nor one trial more does He lay upon us than is absolutely needful for our goodnot a single ingredient does He put in our bitter cup, that is not essential to the perfection of the remedy. It is for our profit that He chastens, not for His pleasure; and that often to rouse us from our spiritual sleep, to recover us from our deep declension, and to impart new vigor, healthiness, and growth to His own life in the soul.