We can’t get through life without trouble. The writer of “Amazing Grace” shows how we can find God’s kindness even while we suffer. A sketch of Newton’s life can be found here.
“Many are the trials and exercises we must expect to meet within our progress; but this one consideration outweighs them all: the Lord is on our side. And if he be for us, none can be against us to harm us. In all these things we shall be more than conquerors through him that loved us. Afflictions, though not in themselves joyous, but grievous, yet, when sanctified, are among our choice mercies. In due time they shall yield the peaceful fruits of righteousness, and even at present they shall surely be attended with seasonable and sufficient supports.
“One great desire of the believer is to understand the great word of God more and more; and one principal means by which we advance in this knowledge is the improvement we are enabled to make of our daily trials. The promises are generally made to an afflicted state, and we could not taste their sweetness, nor experience their truth, if we were not sometimes brought into the circumstances to which they relate. It is said, ‘I will be with them in trouble’; but how could we know what a mercy is contained in these words unless trouble was sometimes our lot? It is said to be the believer’s privilege to glory in tribulation. But we never could know that this is possible unless we had tribulation to glory in.
“However, this is a matter of joy and glory indeed, to find peace and comfort within when things are disagreeable and troublesome without. Then we are enabled to set our seal that God is true, then we learn how happy it is to have a refuge that cannot be taken from us, a support that is able to bear all the weight we can lay upon it, a spring of joy that cannot be stopped by any outward events.
“A great part of the little we know of our God – his faithfulness, compassion, his readiness to hear and answer our prayers, his wisdom in delivering and providing when all our contrivances fail, and his goodness in overruling everything to our soul’s good – I say, much of what we know of these things we learned in our trials, and have therefore reason to say, ‘It was good for us to be afflicted’ (Ps. 119:71).
And, as the Lord has brought us safe through thus far, we have good ground to trust him to the end. We know not what is before us. Perhaps we may meet greater difficulties by and by than we have ever yet seen. But if we keep in mind who has delivered us from the lion and the bear, we may face the Philistine also without terror. God will be with us, and strengthen us with strength in our souls. It is our wisdom to keep close to him, that, when the evil day comes, we may have confidence before him in all our troubles.”