Here is some more wisdom from one of my favorites, and, I hope yours too, Thomas Brooks. If you have opportunity, get some, or all of his writings. He will grow on you. He had spiritual insight that will be good for you, and your family. Like most Puritans, he was patient and earnest in preaching. Read him! (cw)
[1.] First, Hereby you will give an evident proof of the soundness and uprightness of your own hearts, Philippians 1:27-29. Afflictions and persecutions will discover what metal men are made of. All is not gold that glisters: many there be that glister and look like golden Christians, but when they come to the fire, they prove but dross: he is a golden Christian indeed, who remains gold when under fiery trials. The stony ground did glister and shine very gloriously, for it received the word with joy for a time, but when the sun of persecution rose upon it, it fell away, (Mat 13:20, 21).
Men that now embrace the word, will, in times of persecution, distaste the word, if it be not rooted in their understandings, judgments, wills, affections, and consciences. Men may court the word, and compliment the word, and applaud the word, and seemingly rejoice in the word, but they will never suffer persecution for the word, if it be only received into their heads, and not rooted in their hearts. The house built upon the sand was as lovely, as comely, as goodly, and as glorious a house to look upon as that which was built upon the rock; but when the rain of affliction descended, and the floods of tribulation came, and the winds of persecution blew and beat upon that house, it fell, and great was the fall of it, (Mat 7:26, 27). No professors will be able to stand it out in all winds and weathers, but such as are built upon a rock. All others will sink, shatter, and fall when the wind of persecution blows upon them, (Mal 3:2); as sure as the rain will fall, the floods flow, and the winds blow, so sure will an unsound heart give out when trials come.
Nothing speaks out more soundness and uprightness than a pursuing after holiness, even then when holiness is most afflicted, pursued, and persecuted in the world to stand fast in fiery trials argues much integrity within.