Thursday, June 12, 2014
It is only in the Word of God, that we learn to consider affliction as a blessing. The utmost which the most refined philosophy can effect, is to remove our sorrows, by that which is imaginary to divert the attention from the cause of distress or to produce a sullen and stoic resignation, more like despair than hope.
The religion of the gospel grapples with the evil itself, overcomes it, and transforms it into a blessing! It is by no means included in the promises made to true Christians that they shall be exempt from suffering. On the contrary, chastisement forms a necessary part of that paternal discipline by which our heavenly Father fits his children for their eternal rest and glory. The Psalmist asserts the blessedness of the man who is chastened by the Lord, with this qualification as necessary to constitute it a blessing that he is also instructed in divine truth.
By this, we understand that the influence of chastisement is not physical; that mere suffering has no inherent efficacy; but that the afflictions of this life are, in the hand of God, instrumental in impressing divine truth upon the heart, awakening the attention of the believer to the consideration of his own character and situation, the promise of the gospel, and the rewards of heaven.
The child of God is assured that all things work together for his good; in this is plainly included the pledge, that chastisements and afflictions shall eventually prove a blessing; and this is verified by the experience of the whole church.
[James W. Alexander]
Psalm 94:12 ... Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law;
Job 34:31-32 ... Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.
1 Peter 1:6-7 ... Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: ❤