The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine. He has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God's Word, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace," and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above.
There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season. They have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career. They have walked along the "green pastures" by the side of the "still waters." But suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded.
Oh! say not so, thou who are walking in darkness. The best of God's saints must drink the wormwood. The dearest of His children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity. No believer can always keep his harp from the willows.
Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb. But now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God's full-grown children.
We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.