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O what painful work it is! – JC Philpot

November 6, 2011

“You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house.” 1 Peter 2:5

God’s people require many severe afflictions—many harassing temptations—and many powerful trials to hew them into any good shape, to chisel them into any conformity to Christ’s image. For they are not like the passive marble under the hands of the sculptor, which will submit without murmuring, and indeed without feeling, to have this corner chipped off, and that jutting angle rounded by the chisel. But God’s people are living stones, and therefore, they feel every stroke. We are so tender skinned that we cannot bear a ‘thread of trouble’ to lie upon us—we shrink from even the touch of the chisel. To be hewed, then, and squared, and chiseled by the hand of God into such shapes and forms as please Him—O what painful work it is!

If the Lord, then, is at work upon our souls—we have not had—we are not now having—we shall never have—one stroke too much, one stroke too little, one stroke in the wrong direction. But there shall be just sufficient to work in us that which is pleasing in God’s sight—and to make us that which He would have us to be. What a great deal of trouble would we be spared if we could only patiently submit to the Lord’s afflicting stroke—and know no will but His.

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