Profitable Tribulations

The student of Paul's career cannot fail to be impressed by the tremendous courage and fortitude which characterized the arduous experience of this militant apostle in carrying the gospel to the Gentiles. Beset by dangers, harassed in a degree experienced by few Christians, often in poverty and frequently in the hands of those who would have destroyed him, yet he carried on his work of establishing the teachings of his Lord and Master throughout the then known world. In his illuminating discussion of the problem of justification by faith, set forth in the fifth chapter of his letter to the Christians at Rome, Paul makes the extraordinary statement of the profit he has derived from the very tribulations which, viewed at this distance, seem so harsh, even cruel, did one not see them from a like standpoint.

Paul recognized that the peace he had with God came through the exalted example of Christ Jesus; and that by him he also had access to the grace of which he was conscious. And he rejoiced in the revelation of God's glory, declaring, "Not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed." Thus Paul recognized that the very hardships which he had experienced had caused him to develop the identical qualities which would strengthen him by forcing him to walk more closely with God.

Mrs. Eddy has given equal assurance that whatever compels one to turn to God for deliverance is a blessing in disguise, for it compels the sufferer to awaken to the recognition of the stupendous fact that God, who is infinite, is ever at hand, and available to supply whatever the human need may seem to be. In making it clear that false sense is destroyed through suffering, Mrs. Eddy writes on page 196 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "Better the suffering which awakens mortal mind from its fleshly dream, than the false pleasures which tend to perpetuate this dream."

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Divine Protection
November 17, 1928

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