Friday, November 28, 2014

Benefits of Afflictions

Afflictions are God's most effectual means to keep us from losing our way to our heavenly rest. Without this hedge of thorns on the right hand and on the left, we would scarcely keep in the way to heaven. If there is but one gap open, how ready are we to find it, and turn out of the narrow way! When we grow wanton, or worldly, or proud, how does sickness, or other affliction, humble us!
Every Christian may call affliction one of his best schoolmasters; and with David may say, "Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now have I kept your word." Many thousand recovered sinners may cry, "O healthful sickness! comfortable sorrows! O gainful losses! O enriching poverty! Blessed day that ever I was afflicted!" Not only the green pastures and still waters but the rod and staff, they comfort us also. Though the Word and Spirit do the main work, yet suffering so unbolts the door of the heart that the Word has easier entrance!
[Richard Baxter]
Psalm 119:67 ... Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
Psalm 34:19 ... Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
James 5:13 ... Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
2 Corinthians 1:6 ... And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
2 Corinthians 4:17 ... For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
1 Thessalonians 1:6 ... And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.