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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Prayer and Trouble, part 11, by E. M. Bounds

In the New Testament there are three words used which embrace trouble. These are tribulation, suffering and affliction, words differing somewhat, and yet each of them practically meaning trouble of some kind. Our Lord put His disciples on notice that they might expect tribulation in this life, teaching them that tribulation belonged to this world, and they could not hope to escape it; that they would not be carried through this life on flowery beds of ease. How hard to learn this plain and patent lesson! “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” There is the encouragement.

As He had overcome the world and its tribulations, so might they do the same. Paul taught the same lesson throughout his ministry, when in confirming the souls of the brethren, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, he told them that “we must, through much tribulation, enter into the kingdom of God.” He himself knew this by his own experience, for his pathway was anything but smooth and flowery. He it is who uses the word “suffering” to describe the troubles of life, in that comforting passage in which he contrasts life’s troubles with the final glory of heaven, which shall be the reward of all who patiently endure the ills of Divine Providence:


“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”


And he it is who speaks of the afflictions which come to the people of God in this world, and regards them as light as compared with the weight of glory awaiting all who are submissive, patient and faithful in all their troubles:
 

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

But these present afflictions can work for us only as we cooperate with God in prayer. As God works through prayer, it is only through this means He can accomplish His highest ends for us. His Providence works with greatest effect with His praying ones. These know the uses of trouble and its gracious designs. The greatest value in trouble comes to those who bow lowest before the throne.
- From The Essentials of Prayer, by E. M. Bounds.

Although E. M. Bounds died in 1913, this book was first published in 1925, by an admirer of the author's life. Bounds was known for praying from four until seven each morning.

This post is one of a series, taken from The Essentials of Prayer, by Bounds. Found through the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, here. The Essentials of Prayer is in the public domain. The previous post in the entire series on the book is here. Thanks for reading. Read this book, and, more importantly, practice, prayer.

2 comments:

i am Grateful... Kerry i am. said...

Makes me want to practice the presence of the Lord more and more in unhindered prayer. Thanks Martin. -- kerry

Martin LaBar said...

Me, too. Thanks, Kerry i am.