Here is another great devotional from the the pen of Richard Sibbes:
“As the sun is on its course though we cannot see it move, and as plants and herbs grow though we cannot perceive them to grow, even so it does not follow that a Christian grows not because he cannot see himself grow. Nay, if believers decay in their first love, or in some other grace, yet another grace may grow and increase, such as their humility, their broken-heartedness; they sometimes seem not to grow in the branches when they may grow at the root; upon a check grace breaks out more; as we say, after a hard winter there usually follows a glorious spring.
It is not sufficient for a Christian to have habitual grace; there is no vine can bring forth fruit without the fresh influences of heaven, though it be planted and well rooted in a good soil; so we cannot bring forth fruit unless God assists us; our former strength will not serve when a new temptation comes.
As men cherish young plants at first and fence them about with hedges to keep them from hurt, but when they are grown they remove these things and leave them to the wind and weather, so God sustains His children at first with props of inward comforts, but afterwards He exposes them to storms and winds because they are better able to bear them. Therefore let no man think himself the better because he is more free from troubles than others; it is because God sees him not fit to bear greater.”