“We also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4
All the afflictions of God’s people are designed, under His gracious management–to test, to make manifest, and to exercise, those graces and virtues which He has implanted in them. Though afflictions in themselves are not joyous but grievous, nevertheless they yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness in those who are exercised thereby.
Afflictions serve to quicken the spirit of devotion in us, and to rouse us from that formality and indifference which frequently attend a long course of ease and prosperity. We are constrained to seek God with sincerity and fervor when trials are upon us, since we then feel our absolute need of that help and deliverance which He alone can give us.
Afflictions serve most effectually to convince us of the vanity of all that this world can afford, to remind us that this poor world is not our rest, and to stir up desires and hopes for our everlasting home.
Afflictions produce in us a spirit of sympathy towards our companions in tribulation.
Afflictions give occasion for the exercise of patience, meekness, submission, and resignation…otherwise these excellent virtues would lie dormant.
Afflictions serve to convince us more deeply of our own weakness and insufficiency, and to endear the person, the grace, the promises, and the salvation of our Redeemer, more and more to our hearts. Thus we are taught to esteem these trials as precious on account of the benefits we derive from them. …
Amidst the distresses and miseries of life–it is a felicity to belong to Christ, without whose appointment, no evil can befall us! He always allows afflictions for our good; and knows by experience, what it is to suffer them. His kind hand will speedily put an end to all the pains we feel, when we have derived from them all the good which He intends to do for us, by them.
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