The leaves of a tree this year are not the same as they were last year; new foliage comes with each succeeding year; the climate, the circumstances are never the same as in the former year. So it is with us as Christians. The Lord’s purpose is not to teach us habits, which a continued sameness of circumstance would produce, but the resources of life, and that through a variety and constant change of circumstances.
If the circumstances were the same this year as they were last, the grace which carried one through last year would do for this; but when the circumstances are entirely new and diverse, then the grace must be entirely new and different in its order, to be suitable. Hence the manna was to be gathered every morning before the exigencies of the day occurred, before there was any demand; and that which was gathered was adequate for every demand which could accrue [Exodus 16:17-21]. What a wonderful way to begin the day–with fresh manna, prepared for every fresh and unexpected demand!
Our strength in Christ is not to be measured by the way in which we met any former trial, but by the way we meet the present one, though the remembrance of a former victory may encourage me as to a present difficulty, as the remembrance of killing the lion and the bear encouraged David when he was about to encounter Goliath [1 Sam. 17:34-37]. As there is progress, the trials or tryings become greater, but the strength is also greater; and if the strength be greater than the tryings, there is not increased suffering or anxiety, but there is the increased sense of the resources that are in Christ.
A tall tree gets more of the storms, but then it is better able to resist and hold its ground than a young one would be if exposed to the same shaking. If you have got over a two-foot fence, prepare for a three-foot one, and so on. The tests are greater as we advance.
There is often, as we see in young horses, more suffering in taking the first fence than in any succeeding one, if he be kept well in practice. Sometimes one balks and sulks and will not-take the fences, and then there is loss; the sense of Christ’s power is practically lost to the soul, and there is no use or gain in remembering how I rose above circumstances on a former occasion; indeed, if I do recall this, it only convicts me of being worse mounted now than I was then; and this in a Christian means that he is not as simply dependent on Christ now as he was at a former time.
The saints’ motto is, “Now or never”–a saint or nothing. This schooling in the new life is most interesting. I have to meet new and unexpected fences or hindrances every day, and, according as my heart is restful in Christ, I am able to meet them in His strength; and thus I go from strength to strength, till I appear before God in Zion [Psalm 84:7]. No final rest till I get there.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
May you come forth fresh every morning like the sun, rejoicing as a strong man to run the race set before you! 
 Philippians 4:13 added. The concluding sentence is an allusion to Psalm 19:5 –
“In them [the heavens] He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.”
By James Butler Stoney (1814-1897) Christian Truth: Volume 17