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Abide, Rejoice, Love. . .

From an amazing little booklet, called "Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty:"

"I have said that these afflictions have to be. For still the question is raised, as it was in Job's day, in the counsels of Heaven, as to whether a man will rejoice in God , and enjoy and testify of His love, when he has nothing outwardly at all to prove it. Still Satan goes on saying, as he did in those days, 'Of course, those people sing! Of course they are radiant; of course they are happy: look what You have done for them -- miracles, deliverances, blessings, healing, provision, answers to prayer -- who would not sing?!' And God has to say, for His own Name's sake, If I take every one of those things away, and leave that person without a single blessing, visible to himself or to others, I believe he will still say, 'I love the Lord'; because (you notice the expression in Psalm 91:14) he has set his love on Me -- he has SET his love on Me. Hell is answered, and Heaven is vindicated, when God is able to say, I have a son (or daughter) who loves Me, NOT for what I gave him, but just because he loves Me, and knows that I love him. And, in the Person of the Lord Jesus, we know the Satanic lie was answered, and the Divine truth was seen that it is possible, between Heaven and earth, God and man, to have a perfect love relationship. But it NEEDS all the arrows and terrors and trials and testings -- it needs them all, to bring out that great truth. So there is a reason and an explanation."

-- T. Austin-Sparks

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