By Charles Spurgeon, often called the “Prince of Preachers”
The way that God keeps His people in security is not by shutting out their enemies from attacking them, but by sustaining them while engaged in the conflict. It is not much to preserve ones’ self behind a wall which cannot be scaled, but to stand where arrows are flying thick as hail, where lances are being pushed with fury, where the sword-cuts are falling on every part, and in the midst of all to prove invulnerable, invincible, immortal, this is to wear a divine life which cannot be conquered by human power.
Such is the calling of the Christian. God will put us where we must be tried and tempted. If we are not tried, there is no honor to Him who preserves us; and if we are not tempted, there is no gratitude to His grace who delivers us out of temptations.
The Lord does not put his plants into a hot-house, as some gardeners do; no, He sets them out in the open air, and if the frost is coming, He says, “Ah! But no frost can kill them, and they will be all the sturdier in the summer for the cold in the winter.”
He does not shelter them either from the heat of the sun, or from the chills of the night. In this world we must have tribulation, and we must have much of it too, for it is through much tribulation we inherit the kingdom. What God does for His people is this: He keeps them in tribulation, preserves them in temptation, and brings them joyfully out of all their trials.
So, Christian, you may rejoice in your security, but you must not think that you are not to be attacked. You are like a stream from Lebanon, to be dashed down many a cascade, to be broken over many a rough rock, to be stopped up with many a huge stone, to be impeded by many a fallen tree. But you are to dash forward with the irresistible force of God, sweeping everything away, till you find at last the place of your perfect rest.