'I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction' (Isaiah 48:10)
"We are chosen as an afflicted people, and not as a prosperous people, chosen not in the palace, but in the furnace. In the furnace, beauty is marred, fashion is destroyed, strength is melted, glory is consumed, and yet here eternal love reveals its secrets, and declares its choice... In times of severest trial God has made to us our calling and election plain, and we have made it sure: then have we chosen the Lord to be our God, and He has shown that we are assuredly His chosen." (Spurgeon's Cheque Book of Faith, August 27th)
"Many of us need no other argument than our own experiences to prove that suffering is indeed God's testing room of faith."
"It is very easy for us to speak and theorize about faith, but God often casts us into crucibles to try our gold, and to separate it from the dross and alloy. Oh, happy are we if the hurricanes that ripple life's unquiet sea have the effect of making Jesus more precious. Better the storm with Christ than smooth waters without Him."
"What if God could not manage to ripen your life without suffering?" (Streams in the Desert, August 28th)