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 27Trials and Pain: Long Eternity to Enjoy OurselvesDo not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves theworld, the love of the Father is not in him.... And the world ispassing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of Godabides forever.--1 John 2:15,17Any appeal to the public in the name of Christ that rises no higherthan an invitation to tranquility must be recognized as merehumanism with a few words of Jesus thrown in to make it appearChristian....Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in Hisname. He calls them to forsake the world; we assure them that ifthey but accept Jesus the world is their oyster. He calls them tosuffer; we call them to enjoy all the bourgeois comforts moderncivilization affords. He calls them to self-abnegation and death; wecall them to spread themselves like green bay trees or perchanceeven to become stars in a pitiful fifth-rate religious zodiac. Hecalls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry happinessthat would have been rejected with scorn by the least of the Stoicphilosophers....We can afford to suffer now; we'll have a long eternity to enjoyourselves. And our enjoyment will be valid and pure, for it willcome in the right way at the right time. Born After Midnight, pp. 141-142"Lord, may I be faithful to call people to that which is importantto You, at whatever cost. Thank You that 'we can afford to suffernow; we'll have a long eternity to enjoy ourselves.' Amen."