and in faithfulness You have afflicted me."
"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now
I obey Your word." Psalm 119:67
God's corrections are our instructions,
His lashes are our lessons,
His scourges are our schoolmasters,
His chastisements are our admonishments.
By afflictions, troubles, distresses and dangers—the
Lord teaches His people to look upon sin as the most
loathsome thing in the world; and to look upon holiness
as the most lovely thing in the world. Sin is never so
bitter, and holiness is never so sweet—as when our
troubles are greatest and our dangers highest.
By affliction, the Lord teaches His people to sit loose
from this world, and to be prepared for eternity.
By affliction, God shows His people the vanity, vexation,
emptiness, weakness, and nothingness of all created
things; and the choiceness, preciousness and sweetness
of communion with Himself.
It has been the lot and portion of God's dearest
children, to be exercised with very great and
grievous afflictions; in order . . .
to the discovery of sin,
to the embittering of sin,
to the preventing of sin,
to the purging away of sin; and
to the discovery of grace,
to the trial of grace,
to the exercise of grace,
to the increase of grace; and
to the weaning of them from this world; and
to the ripening of them for heaven; and
to the completing of their conformity to Christ,
the captain of their salvation, "who was made
perfect through sufferings," Hebrews 2:10; and
to work in them more pity and compassion to
those who are in misery, and who sigh and
groan under their Egyptian taskmasters.
By Thomas Brooks, London, 1675
From A Word in Season to Suffering Saints
I received this in an email today from a man who knows the truth of these words. For years, Johnny Farese has been afflicted with a condition that has left him bedridden, unable to even feed himself. What a blessing this man has been to so many people, managing to minister through the computer even in affliction. What we could learn from him!