"The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?"
"This was a greater thing to say than to calm the seas or raise the dead. Prophets and apostles could work wondrous miracles, but they could not always do and suffer the will of God. To do and suffer the Father's will is still the highest form of faith and devotion, the most sublime Christian achievement.
To have the bright aspiration of a young life forever blighted; to bear a daily burden never congenial and to see no relief; to be fettered by some incurable physical disability; to be stripped bare of loved ones, until you stand, naked and alone, to meet the shocks of life; to be able to say in such a school of discipline, "The Cup WHICH MY FATHER hath given me, shall I not drink it??" -- THIS is faith at its highest, the spiritual achievement at its crowning point.
Great faith is exhibited, not so much in ability to DO, as TO SUFFER.
To have a sympathizing Father, we must have a suffering Saviour, and there is not true fellowship with another save in the heart of him who has been afflicted likewise!
We cannot do good to others save at the cost to ourselves, and our afflictions are the price we pay for our ability to sympathize. He who would be a helper must first be a sufferer. We cannot have the highest happiness of life in succoring others without tasting the cup which the Lord Jesus drank.
The school of suffering graduates rare scholars."
("The Bible Treasury")
"It is a blessed thing to be able to go on with the Lord Jesus, apart from any human friend, and to be here in all the calm dignity that the realization of His sympathy imparts.
There are trials which everyone can see and sympathize with, while there are others which no one can see, and consequently cannot sympathize with. The latter must be borne in secret with the Lord Jesus. It is here we learn when truly with the Lord what it is to cross our Jordan -- alone with Him, enjoying Him in the scene where He is, by the enablement of the Spirit of Christ.
Now, in this dispensation, it is not deliverance FROM the trial, but SUPERIORITY TO IT which He gives.
The old way was to put people into the furnace AND THEY WERE NOT BURNT; they were put into the lion's den, AND THEY WERE NEVER TOUCHED.
BUT NOW, THEY GO INTO THE FURNACE AND THEY ARE BURNT TO A CINDER! THE LIONS EAT THEM UP, AND THEY NEVER GIVE IN; for it is not the power FOR THEM now, but the power IN THEM!
That power is the Holy Spirit, Who dwells in you; permanently and irrevocably. When sorrow, or trial, or weakness comes, the thing is to look for grace to be above it all."
-- J. B. Stoney
Wonderful, life-giving Philippians 3:10 is based upon death; not His death FOR us, only, but OUR DEATH WITH HIM (Galatians 2:20).
"We shall err if we think that life in the Sanctuary, hidden with Christ in God, means freedom from suffering, sorrow, and trial! Rather will the soul be strengthened inwardly to be trusted more and more and more with "the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable TO HIS DEATH."
-- From Miles J. Stanford's epic, "Position to Person"