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LIGHT IN THE CLOUD

“The Lord turned the captivity of Job.” So, then, our longest sorrows have a close, and there is a bottom to the profoundest depths of our misery. Our winters shall not frown forever; summer shall soon smile. The tide shall not eternally ebb out; the floods must retrace their march. The night shall not hang its darkness forever over our souls; the sun shall yet arise with healing beneath its wings. “The Lord turned the captivity of Job.” Thus, too, our sorrows shall have an end when God has gotten His end in them. The ends in the case of Job were these, that Satan might be defeated, foiled with his own weapons, blasted in his hopes when he had everything his own way. God, at Satan’s challenge, had stretched forth His hand and touched Job in his bone and in his flesh; and yet the tempter could not prevail against him, but received his rebuff in those conquering words, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” When Satan is defeated, then shall the battle cease. The Lord aimed also at the trial of Job’s faith. Many weights were hung upon this palm tree, but it still grew uprightly. The fire had been fierce, yet the gold was undiminished; only the dross was consumed. Another purpose the Lord had was His own glory. And truly He was glorified abundantly. God hath gotten unto His great name and His wise counsels, eternal renown, through that grace by which He supported His poor afflicted servant under the heaviest troubles which ever fell to the lot of man. God had another end, and that also was served. Job had been sanctified by his afflictions. His spirit was mellowed, and any self-justification which lurked within was fairly driven out. And now that (god’s gracious designs are answered, He removes the rod; He takes the melted silver from the midst of the glowing coals. God does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men for nought, and He shows this by the fact He never afflicts them longer than there is a need for it. He never suffers them to be one moment longer in the furnace than is absolutely requisite to serve the purposes of His wisdom and of His love. “The Lord turned the captivity of Job.” Despair not, then, afflicted believer; He that turned the captivity of Job can turn your captivity, as the streams in the south. He shall make your vineyard again to blossom and your field to yield her fruit. You shall again come forth with those that make merry, and once more shall the song of gladness be on your lip. Let not Despair rivet his cruel fetters about your soul. Hope yet, for there is hope concerning this matter. Trust still, for there is ground of confidence, He shall bring you up again, rejoicing, out of captivity, and you shall yet sing to His praise, “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.”

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