Trials as Proof of Progress

Mortals who lack an understanding of God as omnipresent sometimes complain that existence is composed of an unending series of trials and tribulations. From the depths of their discouragement they echo the words of Job, "I am not at ease, neither am I quiet, neither have I rest; but trouble cometh" (Am. Rev. Ver.). The Psalmist, however, in perfect confidence sang, "Try me, and know my thoughts," indicating his humble desire to have his thoughts purified in accordance with the law of progress. The difference here becomes apparent between two conditions which are sometimes considered as the same, but which are really quite unlike.

We read in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 66), "Trials are proofs of God's care." Trials, therefore, are to be used as opportunities whereby we may demonstrate the allness of God through overcoming every condition adverse to good. Progress comes through trials or tests rightly met, for all progress comes as a result of an improved state of consciousness which is manifested in our daily life in proportion as it becomes habitual to our thought.

Even as a bird may try its wings first from branch to branch in the same tree, then to the next tree, and finally out into the freedom of the open air to distant parts, so by use of our improved thinking may we give wing to our aspirations and overcome the errors of material sense. Progress is a continual rising above limitations which lay claim to reality, as fear, doubt, selfishness, desire for temporary ease, poverty, sin, or sickness. As their nothingness is revealed to us through spiritual understanding, we shall replace them with love, confidence, charitableness, health, and peace—righteous qualities all. Certainly we shall not succeed in overcoming error if we sit idly by and contemplate untoward circumstances. A young bird does not preen its wings only to remain on the branch. It makes a trial flight and the victory is won; for then comes the joy of flying yet greater distances. And we, turning to the sustaining power of divine Mind, can prove that "right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action" (Science and Health, p. 454).

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On Going Modern
April 27, 1935

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