The Bitter Cup

I tried to track down the following classic quote from Spurgeon, and the best I could do was a reference deep in the recesses of the Internet to his sermon “Woe and Weal” on Micah 7:9.

It would be a very sharp and trying experience to me to think that I have an affliction which God never sent me, that the bitter cup was never filled by his hand, that my briars were never measured out by him, nor sent to me by his arrangement of their weight and quality. Oh, that were bitterness indeed! But, on the contrary, the prophet here sees the hand of God in all his trials, and I pray that you and I may do the same. May we see that our heavenly Father fills the cup with loving tenderness, and holds it out, and says, “Drink, my child; bitter as it is, it is a love-potion which is meant to do thee permanent good.” The discerning of the hand of God is a sweet lesson in the school of experience.

I can’t pretend to have had many bitter cups to drink in my life. God has mixed for me a very pleasant draught! But I am trying to prepare myself and my family with good theology for when trouble comes.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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