Morning, February 18
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The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.
        He teaches them his covenant.
“The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.” God offers intimate and lasting friendship to those who revere him, who hold him in highest honor.
What relationship could ever compare with having the Lord of all creation for a friend? Your everlasting friendship with God will grow as you revere him.
Job 10:2  Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.

Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy graces. There are some of thy graces which would never be discovered if it were not for thy trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too often like a glow-worm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star--not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black foils in which God doth set the jewels of his children's graces, to make them shine the better. It was but a little while ago that on thy knees thou wast saying, "Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith." Was not this really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?--for how canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy faith is exercised? Depend upon it, God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery, real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials. God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians. He trains his soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which thou art passing? Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Is not this the reason why he is contending with you?

"Trials make the promise sweet;

Trials give new life to prayer;

Trials bring me to his feet,

Lay me low, and keep me there."

Jeremiah 17:17  Do not be a terror to me; You are my refuge in the day of disaster.

Psalm 4:6  Many are saying, "Who will show us any good?" Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD!

Psalm 59:16  But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.

Psalm 30:6,8-10  Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, "I will never be moved." • To You, O LORD, I called, And to the Lord I made supplication: • "What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? • "Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper."

Isaiah 54:7,8  "For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you. • "In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you," Says the LORD your Redeemer.

John 16:20  "Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.

Psalm 30:5  For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

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