"Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God," Paul declared to the saints in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch (Acts 14:22). Thus for the Christian, as for Christ, the cross comes before the crown. Yet our heavenly Father sustains and comforts us in the midst of our suffering, and through our suffering He refines us for an eternity with Himself. These truths are the theme of several of Thomas Smyth's shorter writings, found in Volume 10 of his Complete Works:
- Council and Comfort for Afflicted Believers
- God Comforts us to Make us Comforters
- Solace for Bereaved Parents
- God Glorified and Christian Obedience Perfected in the Prostration and Suffering of Believers
Smyth, the pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Charleston, South Carolina, from 1834 until nearly his death in 1873, endured a life of tragedy - chronic illness, debilitating headaches, paralysis, shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, the death of two infant children to scarlet fever, and the list could go on. Yet this shepherd knew the word of God, and sought to apply it to himself and to his sheep. Avail yourself of the experiential wisdom of this 19th-century American Presbyterian today.