We must measure afflictions by their outcome, not how they hurt.

Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)

Satan seeks to draw the soul into sin by presenting the sufferings that daily attend those who walk in holiness. But all the afflictions that attend the people of God turn out to their profit and glorious advantage. Afflictions are a looking glass that show the ugly face of sin. They are God’s furnace to cleanse and preserve His people. Saints thrive most internally when they are most afflicted. Manasseh’s chain was more profitable to him than his crown. Luther could not understand some Scriptures until he was in affliction. God’s house of correction is his school of instruction. Afflictions lift up the soul to a fuller enjoyment of God, and more sweet and full enjoyment of his blessed self. They keep the heart humble and tender, and by experience saints find that they can embrace the cross as others do the world’s crown. Afflictions inflame love that is cold, quicken decaying faith, and put life into withering hope. The more the saints are beaten with the hammer of affliction, the more they trumpet God’s praises.

Adversities abate the loveliness of the world that entices us and the lusts that incite us. They afflict, but never harm. They are momentary; sorrow may abide for a night, but joy comes in the morning. This short storm will end in an everlasting calm. We must measure afflictions by their outcome, not how they hurt. The misery that attends wickedness is far greater. O the gnawing of conscience that attends wickedness! There is no peace for the wicked. There are snares in their mercies and curses attend their comforts. What is a fine suit of clothes with the plague? What is golden cup with poison? What is a silk stocking on a broken leg? Ah the horrors and terrors, the tremblings that attend their souls! (from Voices from the Past, p. 288)

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About Ron

Somewhat quirky and prone to bouts of melancholia. Well-read, tastelessly opinionated and pasta fueled, a saddle tramp. I have not yet discovered my superpowers, but when I do, I will use them for good, not evil.

Posted on December 12, 2011, in Quotes, Theology. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Merry Christmas, Ron. May you be filled with the love and peace of Christ our King this day and always.

  2. Thank you! And Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  3. Hey Ron –

    I gather from many of your postings and tweets that finding a good church is a problem for you. I just wanted to tell you that i just returned from my own church’s evening service where we have had a missions conference all weekend, and this evening’s message was from an Albanian church planter who is on staff at Woodruff Road PCA in Simpsonville, which I gather isn’t really all that far from you. Here’s the church web page discussing the Konas: http://www.woodruffroad.com/missions/europe.asp He’s in the process of trying to translate Calvin’s Institutes into Albanian; he had a display of many other works already translated, including Pink’s The Attributes of God, on a table in our narthex. I couldn’t tell you what the others were because I don’t read Albanian; that one I could figure out.

    I drive 40 miles one way to church myself, because it is that much worth it, and we are growing with others who are also coming from far away for good teaching. One family commuted an hour and a half each Sunday, as their family grew, for ten years before they moved to the town our church is in. I have to tell you – if the other pastors at that church are anywhere near the caliber of what I just heard, it must be a very special place. This man stood and very humbly and with all the authority of the Scripture, gave a wonderful, wonderful exposition of the Kingdom parables in Mark 6. I am in a place where I am privileged to hear good sound preaching by biblically qualified elders and worship alongside people who are the product of that or are otherwise thirsty for it, but this was some of the most godly preaching I’ve heard yet. I thought I’d let you know that, I don’t know if you’ve checked them out there or not, but I do know that the Good Shepherd has ordained that His flock be under the protection of faithful undershepherds, so I thought maybe you might find it to be fruitful. I pray so.

    Barbara

  4. Barbara,

    Thanks! I will give them a visit.

  5. You’re welcome!

    I peeked around their website a bit, and I noticed that my church (Trinity in Statesboro, GA) is on their “recommended links” list). Ha! :)

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