Is Obeying God Simply Resulting in Hardship for You?

“Does Job fear God for no reason?”
Job 1:9 ESV

This was the wicked question of Satan concerning that upright man of old, Job. But there are many today who might be asked the same question with justice, for they love God (after a fashion) because he prospers them; but if things went badly for them, they would give up their boastful faith in God. If they can clearly see that since their supposed conversion, everything has gone well for them, then they will love God in their poor carnal way; but if they endure adversity, they rebel against the Lord. Their love is the love of the table, not of the host; a love to the cupboard, not to the master of the house.

As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward
in the next life, and to endure hardship in this life. The promise of the old covenant is adversity. Remember Christ’s words — “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit…” — What? “He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit..”

If you bring forth fruit, you will have to endure affliction. “But wait!” you say, “that is a terrible prospect.” But this affliction works out such precious results that the Christian who is the subject of it must learn to rejoice in tribulations, because as his tribulations abound, so his consolations abound by Christ Jesus.

Rest assured, if you are a child of God, you will be no stranger to the rod of hardship. Sooner or later every bar of gold must pass through the fire. Do not fear, but rather rejoice that such fruitful times are in store for you, for in them you will be weaned from earth and made fit for heaven; you will be delivered from clinging to the present, and made to long for those eternal things which are so soon to be revealed to you.

When you now feel you are serving God for no good purpose, you will then rejoice in the infinite reward of the future.

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Charles Haddon Spurgeon [adapted]