Trials—Their Value

It cannot be denied that to human sense mortals are subject to many a trial. From the cradle onwards there is constant struggle, and often much suffering. "Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward," were the words of Eliphaz the Temanite to Job in his affliction; and they well express what is the too common lot of mankind. But while this is so, there is another side to the question: men are by no means subject to trials and sorrow and suffering alone. The lives of many of them are on the whole glad lives, often happy lives, because lived in the steadfast endeavor to know and to reflect God. Still—not a single mortal is free of trials.

Now there is a reason for these trials; and a very simple reason it is, as Christian Science shows. Every difficulty springs from mortals' erroneous belief in the reality of matter, the erroneous belief that in matter abide intelligence and sensation, and that in consequence matter is able to confer happiness upon them. Thus material sense is the deceiver; for never does indulgence in materiality bring lasting happiness, but always disappointment and often pain; in other words, tribulations or trials.

Think what would happen if mortals were allowed to continue indulging material sense—sensuousness—indefinitely! Human suffering and evil would multiply until mortals were plunged into utter despair. But, fortunately, what happens is that the sinner,—the one who is indulging in material sensuousness,—finding himself becoming tortured by his indulgence, first stops to question himself as to the path he is taking, and then looks about him for a way out of the condition into which his erroneous thinking has led him. Thus his trials force him to stop sinning, and point to a power—divine Principle—which is ever present as a rod of iron to evil-thinking and evil-doing, but as a tender Father to all who repent and are desirous of living in accordance with Principle. Mrs. Eddy writes on page 66 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "Trials teach mortals not to lean on a material staff,—a broken reed, which pierces the heart," adding, a few lines farther on, "Trials are proofs of God's care."

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May 11, 1929

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