This beautiful letter was shared by Lon Solomon, author and long-time pastor of McLean Bible Church in the Washington, DC area. You can find the original posting here.
In a letter dated March 31, 1840, the great Scottish preacher Robert Murray McCheyne wrote the following letter to a suffering parishioner:
"You cannot love trouble for its own sake; bitter must always be bitter, and pain must always be pain. God knows that you cannot love trouble. Yet, for the blessings that it brings, He can make you pray for it.
Does trouble work patience in you?
Does it lead you to cling closer to the Lord Jesus...to hide deeper in the Rock?
Does it make you be still and know that He is God?
Does it make you lie passive in His hand and know no will but His?
Does it result in a deeper experiential acquaintance with Jesus?
Does it bring you a fuller taste of His sweetness?
And does this experience give you a further hope of Glory...another anchor cast within the veil?
And has it convinced you that God loves you and will love you to the end?
If so...then you have gotten the improvement that God intends heartache to bring!"