252) Meditating on Affliction

Affliction is God’s shepherd dog to drive us back to the fold.  –Anonymous

God sweetens outward pain with inward peace.  –Thomas Watson

When we grow careless of keeping our souls, then God recovers our taste of good things again by sharp crosses.  –Richard Sibbes

God measures out affliction to our need.  –St. John Chrysostom, Homily IV

The winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions prepare the soul for glory.  –Richard Sibbes

Do not even such things as are most bitter to the flesh, tend to awaken Christians to faith and prayer, to a sight of the emptiness of this world, and to the fadingness of the best it yields?  Doth not God by these things oftentimes call our sins to remembrance, and provoke us to amendment of life?  How then can we be offended at things by which we reap so much good?  –John Bunyan

As the wicked are hurt by the best things, so the godly are bettered by the worst.  —William Jenkyn

I am mended by my sickness, enriched by my poverty, and strengthened by my weakness…  What fools are we, then, to frown upon our afflictions!  These, no matter how unpleasant, are our best friends.  They are not indeed for our pleasure, they are for our profit.  –Abraham Wright

Poverty and affliction take away the fuel that feeds pride.  –Richard Sibbes

Afflictions are light when compared with what we really deserve.  They are light when compared with the sufferings of the Lord Jesus.  But perhaps their real lightness is best seen by comparing them with the weight of glory which is awaiting us.  –Arthur W. Pink

The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.  –Charles Spurgeon

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Job 36:15-16a  —  But those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction.  He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction…

Psalm 119:67  —  Before I was afflicted I went astray:  But now I have kept thy word.

II 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.

Psalm 34:19  —  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

Psalm 113:13-14  —  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

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Help me, O Lord, to make a true use of all disappointments and calamities in this life, in such a way that they may unite my heart more closely with you.  Cause them to separate my affections from worldly things and inspire my soul with more vigor in the pursuit of true happiness.  Amen.  –Susanna Wesley (1669-1742), mother of John and Charles Wesley and 17 other children