Monday, August 20, 2007

A Consolation in Suffering

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

What a God-honoring thing to see a struggling, sorrowing child of earth cleave fast to God, calmly trusting in Him, happy and at rest in the midst of storm and suffering! What a spectacle for the hosts of heaven! Now is the time for the saints to give glory to the Lord their God. Let them prize affliction as the very time and opportunity for doing so most of all. Let them use such a season well. And what consolation to think that affliction is really such a season!

Horatius Bonar
When God's Children Suffer

Sorry to have not kept my promise about the next Aunt Jane's Hero segment, but because of some events going on around me, I felt hindered. Instead, I want to once again address the trials of this life. I would recommend the above book by Mr. Bonar to anyone going through affliction or difficulties. What I wrote here was from his chapter on the consolation in suffering, found in the above verse from Romans. But there are even more reasons why we can say that it is good to be afflicted. He gives eleven, and it is from the sixth one, "Affliction is our fullest opportunity for glorifying God," that I've taken this quote.

I see some folks who are living examples of what Mr. Bonar is saying. Some are close friends; some are persecuted saints facing hatred, captivity and/or imprisonment. Some are bloggers that I don't even know. To them, and to all of us, I give the final words of the chapter:

Our joys were all of grace--pure grace--much more our sorrows.It is out of the "exceeding riches of the grace of God" that trial comes.


Cami said...

Thank you for this, Maxine. For my part, I couldn't be the disciple I want to be without suffering. As Oswald taught, it's a mystery why it is so, but it is so: without suffering there is no glory. I love the last part of the first quote from Horatius (what a cool name!), "And what consolation to think that affliction is really...a SEASON."

You're in my daily prayers.

Mimi said...

Maxine thanks for reminding us that is is truly in suffering that we are made stronger in our faith and suffering gives us Grace and Glory... as it was with suffering that Christ paid for our sins and set us free to be His forever

Vicki said...

Beautiful post...and I'm learning to really cherish the word "grace." God bless you my sweet friend.

Susan (Jordan's proud mom) said...


This is my first time to your awesome blog, OH MY...

Your writing is so beautiful and so full of HOPE.

I loved the quote and scripture you shared.

Thanks for taking the time for so many going through so much!

I'm blessed and greatly encouraged, thanks!


Maxine said...

Oh, Susan. You made my day. I went to your site about Jordan and his story is such an encouragement. I hope others will go and read it after clicking on your name. May the Lord continue to bless and keep all of you. Please visit again!

Mishel said...

This is the second blog post I've read this morning regarding Christians and suffering--it's very timely, as so many are facing difficulties and trials.

Bonar's quote makes me think of our dear pastor and his precious family, who's oldest son (age 23) was killed in Iraq. They have been an example of exactly what Bonar talks about. And the Lord has used it for His glory and a source of encouragement for so many.

And I wanted to tell you I *will* pray for your daughter as she enters 9th grade and this new season of life without her best friend. : )

Maxine said...

That's so interesting, Mishel. So sorry to hear about your pastor's son. Each time we hear in the news about the soldiers being killed, we have to remember that there is a family for each one of them. At least we can send up prayers for these families.
I, too, was referring to my pastor and his family in this post as one of the "living examples" of what Bonar is talking about. Last week, Pastor's two daughters both lost their babies in the womb within three days of each other. It was the second loss for the older girl. So my pastor and his wife have lost their first three grandchildren before birth. God has given amazing peace and strength in the midst of these dark providences. Thanks for sharing what He's been doing in the life of your church.

Beverly said...

This reminds me of the reason that I love the words of Bonar so much. He always brings us to that place of total dependence and reliance on our sovereign Lord.