austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

July 20

20 JUL – The Divine Purpose of Travail

You know, if you don’t suffer for a thing, you don’t value it. If it costs you nothing then it means little to you. If you have really suffered agonies and anguish for anything, for anyone, over any matter, that thing is of infinite preciousness to you. You’re going to fight for that, you’re going to watch over that with keen jealousy. That is something very precious. And is not that just how the law of travail works? Yes! It’s like that. If it comes without travail, without any cost, well it’s taken too lightly, isn’t it? – far too lightly…

The Lord introduced this factor that in every birth it’s a question of life or death. Life and death are in the balances every time. The governing question: how is it going? You’re held in tension… and when it’s alright, how the heart goes out: thank God! Thank God… Worship. God comes into His place. God comes into His place, very often with those who have never given Him any place before, at any rate there is a spontaneous: “Thank God!” You see the principle; you see how true it is. And so God established this, ah yes, this painful way, this suffering way, as the only way in which He could recover and establish the law of values, of preciousness, and save man from his superficiality with regard to the most costly things.

He did it in order to secure a heart relationship with Himself and with everything that comes from Him. A heart relatedness, that is, love! Love! – a love that is far removed from despising the Lord or anything of the Lord; a love that involves the very life itself; that if its object is lost then life itself goes with it. See? It’s like that.

Anything that comes from God will sooner or later pass into the realm of suffering, into the realm of travail, to find out how much value we put upon it, how much it really means to us, how much we have seen of God in it. It will become a matter of life or death. Under this law all divine things have been put upon this basis.

It is therefore a very important thing that we should understand the meaning attached to this law, why God introduced it and established it and has never lifted it, and never does; but holds all history of individuals, of families, of society, of nations, and peculiarly of the Church to this law. I say, it’s very important that we should understand the divine meaning attaching to travail.

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