And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” Revelation 10:9-11
The “little book” John was asked to eat is the Word of God. To the saved the Word is sweet to receive, but because of the Word, bitter persecutions will eventually come. These trials will take us completely outside or our comfort zone in life. Our trials often appear like such terrible requirements, but they are critical to us obtaining and keeping the victory. We may feel beaten up and defeated, but we must determine to continue on in doing our best for God.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us Hebrews 12:1
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: Hebrews 12:2-5
Paul has now gone from speaking of faith, to speaking of the difficulty we receive in persecutions. In the middle of difficulties and persecutions, the Lord may have to rebuke us, to tell us we are not carrying our cross as well as we should. We may feel that we are doing our best. Yet he knows you are doing what you think is your best, but he knows when you can do better. We need to accept the correction and accept that God knows what we need. You must determine that you will take more heed and be more careful. Sometimes God’s correction happens right in the middle of great difficulty. Never is it the right time to “throw in the towel” and give up. Sometimes part of the comfort we receive from the Lord is from the rod and staff of his correction. We need to take a comfort in it, realizing it is part of him showing his faithful love toward us.
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Hebrews12:6-8