By James Hudson Taylor
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Extra resources for A ribband of blue and other Bible studies
Do we not rather see from the Word of GOD that He is like a glad father, delighting to be able to encourage a strong healthy son to undertake some athletic feat which will entail arduous effort and careful training, or to stimulate him to prepare for a difficult literary examination by a prolonged and toilsome course of study, knowing he will obtain honours and permanent advantage from his attainments? So, our HEAVENLY FATHER delights to trust a trustworthy child with a trial in which he can bring great glory to GOD, and through which he will receive permanent enlargement of heart, and blessing for himself and others.
We see from this, that even she was left to Job through no mercy on the part of the great enemy, but simply to fill the cup of affliction to the full in the hour of his extremity. GRACE SUFFICIENT. " Was not Job mistaken? " No, there was no mistake. The same grace which had enabled him unharmed to receive blessing from the hand of GOD, enabled him also to discern the hand of GOD in the calamities which had befallen him. Even Satan himself did not presume to ask of GOD to be allowed himself to afflict Job.
The promise reminds one of those in John about the living water thirsty ones drink, and are not only refreshed, but become channels through which rivers of living water are always flowing, so that other thirsty ones in their hour of need may find seasonable refreshment. But the figure in the Psalm is not that of water flowing through us as through a channel; but that of fruit, the very outcome of our own transformed life--a life of union with CHRIST. It is so gracious of our GOD not to work through us in a mere mechanical way, but to make us branches of the True Vine, the very organs by which Its fruit is produced.