Turning Trials Into Triumphs

man-praying1I recently shared a quote in a sermon on the storms of life by George Matheson, a 19th century Scottish theologian and preacher.  He was born with eyesight problems and by the time he was 18 was practically blind.  He was renown in his time for his preaching and lecturing skills.  He was also an accomplished hymn writer.  One of his hymns, “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go,” is a classic in many modern day hymn books.  Matheson couldn’t physically see, but recognized spiritual truths with great clarity.  He never thought the trial of his blindness was unfair and embraced it as a principal way he would bring glory to God through obedience to the lessons God would teach him through it.  The quote below is from one of his writings and is a powerful, majestically written reminder that our greatest trials can indeed be our greatest triumphs.

“There is a time coming in which your glory shall consist in the very thing which now constitutes your pain.  Nothing could be more sad to Jacob than the ground on which he was lying, a stone for his pillow.  It was the hour of his poverty.  It was the season of his night.  It was the seeming absence of his God.  The Lord was in the place and he knew it not.  Awakened from his sleep he found that the day of his trial was the dawn of his triumph.

Ask the great ones of the past what has been the spot of their prosperity and they will say, ‘It was the cold ground on which I was lying.’  Ask Abraham; he will point to the sacrifice on Mount Moriah.  Ask Joseph; he will direct you to this dungeon.  Ask Moses; he will date his fortune from his danger in the Nile.  Ask Ruth; she will bid you build her monument in the field of her toil.  Ask David; he will tell you that his songs came in the night.  Ask Job; he will remind you that God answered him out of the whirlwind.  Ask Peter; he will extol his submersion in the sea.  Ask John; he will give the path to Patmos.  Ask Paul; he will attribute his inspiration to the light which struck him blind.

Ask one more! – the Son of God.  Ask Him whence has come His rule over the world; he will answer, ‘From the cold ground on which I was lying – the Gethsemane ground – I received my scepter there.’  Thou too, my soul, shall be garlanded by Gethsemane.  The cup thou fain wouldst pass from thee will be thy coronet in the world by and by.”

May we all see the trials we experience in life as opportunities to be taught and molded by our loving God who desires to fashion us into the likeness of His Son.


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One Response to “Turning Trials Into Triumphs”

  1. Beautifully said…At 69 i can tell you it is absolutely true.Without those times in the valley the mountaintop experience would not be nearly so sweet.Bless you Pastor Todd and thank you.