This book was made for a single purpose: to provide comfort and encouragement at a difficult time.
The notion came to us one evening, after a particularly trying day. We were feeling extremely tired and jaded, and were also faced with a flood of letters containing their usual crop of problems, appeals and accusations. The latter were based on ignorance of facts, and misunderstanding of motives and circumstances; but we could see that some wrote from a genuine desire to help, and felt quite justified in the stand they adopted.
At the time we lacked the energy to argue our case; but we did feel a desire to offer a word of encouragement to brethren and sisters of goodwill, quite apart from any controversy.
But how best to do it? We did not feel that words of ours would be acceptable at that time, and wondered whether we could draw upon those of our pioneers.
We then recalled a series of letters that Brother Roberts had written at a particularly difficult Ecclesial crisis which he entitled: "To the Elect of God in a Time of Trouble." They had greatly helped us when we first read them, particularly as we considered their background. Perhaps we could reproduce them in Logos and so extend a message of help in time of need.
But when we again examined them, we found that they were too long for that purpose.
Then, we thought, why not produce them altogether in more permanent book form, so that, whenever any are depressed or overwhelmed with sorrow because of distressing circumstances, they only have to stretch out their hand to find a measure of help from the pen of one who had gone through similar difficulties.
This is that book.
We hope the reader is comforted and encouraged by its contents, and that it will lead him to seek that greater help that the Word itself can provide, especially when supplemented by prayer. Trouble can be most beneficial if viewed aright. It can humble us; drive us to the Father; help to put power into prayer; cause us to seek encouragement by recalling the privileged position that we occupy in our relationship to the Father and the Son, and the grand vision of glory free from trouble which the future holds out for true sons and daughters of God. We trust that this book may assist you to see things in that light.
-H. P. Mansfield.
West Beach, August 1970.
A further sixteen years of agonising for the Kingdom have passed since we pUblished this book. The troubles, ecclesially, seem to have intensified with the passage of time. Certainly the need for comfort in adversity has not lessened. So we produce a further edition of this book. But we add to it a series of articles prepared by Brother Roberts: Christ On Earth Again. A contemplation of the relief to trouble that will follow the apocalypse of the Lord Jesus in the earth gives substance to any words of comfort that may be expressed. By contemplating the future we are better able to imitate Paul's attitude: "Forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize ofthehigh calling ofGodin ChristJesus" (Phil. 3:13). -H. P. Mansfield.
West Beach, April 1986.