(Thomas Brooks, “Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod” 1659)
“It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees!” Psalm 119:71
A gracious soul secretly concludes: As stars shine brightest in the night–so God will make my soul shine and glisten like gold, while I am in this furnace–and when I come out of the furnace of affliction. “He knows the way that I take; and when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold!” Job 23:10
…Surely by these afflictions, the Lord will crucify my heart more and more to the world–and the world to my heart!
Surely by these afflictions, the Lord will keep pride from my soul!
Surely by these afflictions, I shall be made more a partaker of God’s holiness!
As black soap makes white clothes–so does sharp afflictions make holy hearts.
Surely by these, God will communicate more of Himself unto me!
Surely by these afflictions, the Lord will draw out my heart more and more to seek Him! “In their afflictions they will seek me early!” Hosea 5:15. In times of affliction, Christians will industriously, speedily, early seek unto the Lord.
Surely by these trials and troubles, the Lord will fix my soul more than ever upon the great concernments of the eternal world!
Surely by these afflictions, the Lord will work in me more tenderness and compassion towards those who are afflicted!
Surely these afflictions are but God’s love-tokens!
Afflictions abase the carnal attractions of the world, which might entice us.
Affliction abates the lustiness of the flesh within, which might else ensnare us!
By all of the above, affliction proves to be a mighty advantage unto us.
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