No one is led into the place of weeping without getting some joy. Israel were already God’s people: He leads them into the wilderness to humble them; He makes them hunger that He may give them manna; He leads them into trial that He may give them something better. Some would say, If in the midst of the leeks, onions, and flesh-pots of Egypt God had given them the manna, they would have rejected all other things because the manna was better; but it is not so. While the flesh is surrounded by that which suits it, it is fed thereby, and will reject the better things. Day by day, hour by hour, God is leading us to that condition of hunger that He may give us something better, something not discernible by the natural mind, but satisfying. When I have tasted the manna, there is a reality about it; it is not faith any longer. If I am hungry in the wilderness and am fed and braced up by the food, do I not know it? Can power come into my veins and I not know it? It might be a matter of faith that we are to have the manna to-morrow; but it was a matter of feeling and reality that they had eaten it to-day. As we eat and are strengthened, let us say, I know that man doth not live by bread alone. We feed on Jesus the living bread, the gift of the Father, and we may say that we are miraculously fed from heaven every day by supernatural food, that we might know that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
What think you of possessing in measure now all that we shall possess in the day of the Lord? Then pain of body and pain of heart would all appear very light, and we could say with the apostle, after enumerating things that would make some people mad, “these light afflictions, which are but for a moment.” Why do not we thus speak? It is the right of all who have the Spirit. Outside the sanctuary, until the Lord comes, there will be troubled hearts and diseased souls, but it must not surprise us; it is all alike an opportunity for the display of God’s grace which spreads itself abroad to meet the misery. Every want that pressed on the Lord Jesus always gave an occasion in His soul to the cry of faith.