Growth and Experience
Ministry of Sorrow
1. WHY is it better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of
"It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of
feasting: for that is the end of all men and the living will lay it to
his heart." Eccl. 7:2.
2. What did David ask God to teach him?
"Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it
is, that I may know how frail I am." Ps. 39:4 See also Ps. 90:12.
3. Why is sorrow better than laughter?
"Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance
the heart is made better." Eccl. 7:3.
NOTE.-"Many of the loveliest songs of peace and trust and hope
which God's children sing in this world they have been taught in the
hushed and darkened chambers of sorrow. . . . Afflictions, sanctified, soften the asperities of life. They tame the wildness of nature. They temper human
ambitions. They burn out the dross of selfishness and worldliness. They
humble pride. They quell fierce passions. They reveal to men their own
hearts, their own weakness, faults, blemishes, and perils. They teach
patience and submission. They discipline unruly spirits. They deepen and
enrich our experience."- Week-Day Religion," by J. R. Miller, D. D.,
pages 92, 93.
5. Does God delight to afflict any?
"For the Lord will not cast off forever: but though He cause grief, yet
will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For
He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men." Lam. 3:31-33.
6. Does He afflict to leave the one chastened in despair?
"Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not
thou the chastening of the Almighty: for He maketh sore, and bindeth up:
He woundeth, and His hands make whole." Job 5:17,18.
7. In what language is the same truth again expressed?
"Come, and let us
return unto the Lord: for He hath torn,
and He will heal us; He hath smitten, arid He will bind us up." Hosea 6:1. See also Isa. 61:1-3.
8. Whom does the Lord chasten?
"For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom
He receiveth." Heb. 12:6.
9. Is this, for the time being, a source of pleasure?
"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness
unto them which are exercised thereby." Verse 11.
NOTE.-"Many of the sweetest joys of Christian hearts are songs which
have been learned in the bitterness of trial." "Many a cold, icy nature
is made warm and tender by the grief that crushes it."- "Week-Day
Religion," by J. R. Miller, D. D., pages 91, 93.
10. What, aside from sin, causes more sorrow than all else?
the loss of loved ones.
11. Does death bring to Christians unassuaged sorrow?
"I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which
are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." 1
NOTE.-The loss of loved ones God often uses as a means of conversion and of severing the ties which bind to earth. Persecution; sickness; the
loss of sight, hearing, or limb; the loss of property; or other
calamities may likewise be instrumental in drawing us nearer to God. See
Ps. 119:71; Isa. 26:9.
12. What do our transient afflictions do for us?
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a
far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 2 Cor. 4:17. See Rom.
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