“Listen to this familiar passage again for the very first time: ‘God . . . gives grace to the humble’ (James 4:6). Contrary to popular and false belief, it’s not ‘those who help themselves’ whom God helps; it’s those who humble themselves.
“This is the promise of humility. God is personally and providentially supportive of the humble. And the grace He extends to the humble is indescribably rich. As Jonathan Edwards wrote, ‘The pleasures of humility are really the most refined, inward, and exquisite delights in the world.'”
C. J. Mahaney, Humility: True Greatness (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah, 2005), 20-21.
“Again and again the Christian heart grows weak and begins to falter.Where will we find strength of heart? I don’t mean physical strength. God doesn’t demand physical strength, or health, or even life for that matter. But he does call us to be “strengthened . . . in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16). How does this happen? One answer is very plain: “It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods” (Hebrews 13:9). The heart is strengthened by grace. “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). Daily grace is to the heart what daily bread is to the body. It gives strength. Without it we can’t live and we can’t work.”
John Piper, Future Grace (Colorado Springs: Multnomah, 1995), 67-68.
A letter from the demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, regarding the peaks and troughs in human life:
“You must have often wondered why the Enemy [God] does not make more use of His power to be sensibly present to human souls in any degree He chooses and at any moment. But you now see that the Irresistible and the Indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of His scheme forbids Him to use. Merely to override a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo. . . .
“He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs — to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best.”
C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: HarperCollins, 2000), 39-40.