The kingdom of God cometh not with observation - Luke 17:20
The Kingdom is "in mystery" just now. It is hidden from mortal eye, because the King Himself is withdrawn from the visible sphere. The creation groans and travails for its manifestation. He must be manifested before we can be manifested with Him in glory. In the meanwhile, it is not without, but within; not compelling human attention, but pervading human hearts. Let us remember this when we are lamenting the slow progress of Christianity in the world. It appears to recede almost as quickly as it advances; what it gains in one place it loses in another. If heathen lands are receiving Christ, are not the populations of Christian lands departing from Him? Stay; you cannot tell! It is useless to argue! There may be much more good working than you know. For every bold confessor there are probably seven thousand who have not bowed to Baal.
When we are tempted to estimate our success by numerical results. - When our church is crowded; our roll of communicants constantly augmented; and the money revenue large - we are disposed to think that the cause of Christ is really advancing in our midst. It may be so. But sometimes, where numbers are scant and difficulties many, a yet deeper and more lasting result is being achieved.
When we are lamenting the apparent slowness of our growth in grace. - You do not feel as you would; nay, to judge by your emotional life you fear lest you are positively receding in the divine life; you think that the quality and quantity of your fruit unto God is decreasing. Stay; the deepest work is not always the most obvious. Before the mole appears above the wave, years of work have been expended where no eye can see; but every stone tells in the result.