One of my favorite bloggers, recently posted this quote in her article "Guilty As Charged."
"In our sufferings, we need to be more concerned about our duty than our deliverance. We should seriously consider what it is that God desires in our present dispensation. There is no condition or trial in the world but we have the opportunity to exercise some special grace or duty. To desire deliverance alone is self-love and quite natural to man. In affliction man seeks to be delivered and released from his burden. Men make more haste to get their afflictions removed than to be sanctified in them...Let us search and try our ways, Let us consider that the present condition is best for us, and learn in whatever state we are, to be content (Phil. 4:11). Let us rejoice in tribulation (Rom. 5:3) Let us lift up Jesus Christ and make Him glorious by our afflictions. Paul studied more how to adorn the cross than how to avoid it. If he must suffer for Christ, O that Christ might not suffer by him! May Christ be exalted, and let us entrust our souls to a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:19)." Thomas Chase, Select Works, A Treatise of Afflictions, pp. 65-67
"Men make more haste to get their afflictions removed than to be sanctified in them..." How true this is. Recently in talking with a dear friend I was reminded of this very thing. How often have I wished for the trials in life to just be gone. How much easier it is to pray that God will set us free from our afflictions rather than to sanctify us through them. My friend has challenged me to not pray, "Lord, lift this burden," but instead to pray, "Lord, make me broken before You if in my brokenness I may be sanctified and You glorified." When you are in the midst of some hardship that is the last thing you wish to pray for from a selfish and human perspective isn't it? But when you look at life as means of glorifying the Lord, and if that means be sanctified through pain, then would you not pray it?
Not so man may see,
But that I may be
Fully surrendared to You
In everything You call me to do
Humbled and broken
That Your glory be spoken
In word in action for all to see
Lord, be glorified in me.