Quotes for Topic: Affliction
The sorest afflictions never appear intolerable, but when we see them in the wrong light; when we see them in the hand of God, who dispenses them; when we know that it is our loving Father who abases and distresses us; our sufferings will lose their bitterness and become even a matter of consolation.
There is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all.
Reference: Divine Sovereignty, 1856.
The Lord does not measure out our afflictions according to our faults, but according to our strength, and looks not what we have deserved, but what we are able to bear.
Reference: A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 12.
No words can express how much the world owes to sorrow. Most of the Psalms were born in the wilderness. Most of the Epistles were written in a prison. The greatest thoughts of the greatest thinkers have all passed through fire. The greatest poets have “learned in suffering what they taught in song.” In bonds Bunyan lived the allegory that he afterwards wrote, and we may thank Bedford Jail for the Pilgrim’s Progress. Take comfort, afflicted Christian! When God is about to make pre-eminent use of a person, He put them in the fire.
Affliction is one of God's medicines! By it He often teaches lessons which would be learned in no other way. By it He often draws souls away from sin and the world, which would otherwise have perished everlastingly. Health is a great blessing but sanctified disease is a greater. Prosperity and worldly comfort, are what all naturally desire, but losses and crosses are far better for us if they lead us to Christ. Let us beware of murmuring in the time of trouble. Let us settle it firmly in our minds, that there is a meaning, a “needs be”, and a message from God in every sorrow that falls upon us. There are no lessons so useful as those learned in the school of affliction. There is no commentary that opens up the Bible so much as sickness and sorrow. The resurrection morning will prove, that many of the losses of God’s people were in reality, eternal gains. Thousands at the last day will testify with David, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted” (Psalm. 119:71)!
Reference: The Gospel of John.
God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows Satan, nor circumstances, nor any ill-intending person to afflict us unless He uses that affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His Son (see Romans 8:28-29).
Reference: Transforming Grace, NavPress, 1991, p. 139. Used by permission of NavPress – www.navpress.com. All rights reserved. Get this book!
Afflictions serve most effectually to convince us of the vanity of all that this world can afford, to remind us that this is not our rest and to stir up desires and hopes for our everlasting home. They produce in us a spirit of sympathy towards our companions in tribulation. They give occasion for the exercise of patience, meekness, submission, and resignation. Were it not for the wholesome and necessary discipline of affliction, 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 His very chastisements as precious on account of the benefits we derive from them.
Reference: Christ Precious.
Afflictions are not to punish, but to purify the believing soul. They are not in wrath, but in mercy. Amidst the distresses and miseries of life – it is a felicity to belong to Christ, without whose permission and appointment, no evil can befall us! He always sends 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.
Reference: Christ Precious.
How many, how suitable, how sovereign are the supports our heavenly Father affords to His afflicted children! They make the affliction, which in itself would seem heavy and tedious appear to be light, and but for a moment. It is happier to be in the furnace of affliction with these supports than to be in the highest prosperity without them! Blessed with the hopes and comforts of Christ! The true Christian would prefer the lot of Lazarus, with all the poverty and distress which he endured to the lot of the rich man, who, amidst all the splendor and affluence which this world could afford – lived a life of alienation from God, and destitute of the sovereign supports which can only be enjoyed, by those who love and fear Him.
Reference: Christ Precious.
The Lord can so manifest Himself to His afflicted people that the season of affliction shall be to them a season of great consolation. He is to them – a fountain of life, of strength, of grace and comfort in the afflictive hour – and of His fullness they receive, as their necessities require. The Lord Jesus Christ is a sun to enlighten and cheer His afflicted followers, and a shield to defend them. He is a hiding-place from the storm, a covert from the tempest, and as the shadow of a great rock in a dry and weary land.
Reference: Christ Precious.
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 His chastening hand is upon us, since we then feel our absolute need of that help and deliverance, which He alone can give us.
Reference: Christ Precious.
Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful, with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy five years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction and not through happiness, whether pursued or attained... This, of course, is what the Cross signifies. And it is the Cross, more than anything else, that has called me inexorably to Christ.
Affliction and suffering have been appointed by God as instruments He uses to make us more holy, to make us more like Jesus. They remind us that we are weak and we must rely not on ourselves, but on Jesus. They remind us that this world is not our home but that we are only passing through toward our real home in heaven with our Father, our Savior, Jesus Christ, and our Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
Reference: Tabletalk, p. 55, v. 28, n. 9, Ligonier Ministries, Used by Permission.
I find afflictions to be good for me. I have always found them so. Afflictions are happy means in the hands of the Holy Spirit to subdue my corruptions, my pride, my evil passions, my inordinate love to the creature. Afflictions soften my hard heart, bring me to my knees, increase faith, increase love, increase humility, increase self-denial. Afflictions make me poor in spirit, and nothing in my own eyes.
Yes, we are promised trouble in the world. Yes, we are not always guaranteed deliverance from our enemies. But we are promised sufficient grace to sustain our soul during all afflictions. And we have the Holy Spirit to give us joy and peace and wisdom and hope during all our afflictions. We have His word that regardless of what happens to us that everything will ultimately turn out for our greatest good. We know our trials are in His hands – hands that are good, loving, wise and sovereign. And when our assigned time on this earth is done we have promises far clearer than anything King David even experienced. We have the hope of being with Him in Paradise for all of eternity.
Reference: Sermon, Confused and Assured, Psalm 3:1-8, July 31, 2016.
Christ chiefly manifests Himself in times of affliction, because then the soul unites itself most closely by faith to Christ. The soul, in time of prosperity, scatters its affections, and looses itself in the creature; but there is a uniting power in sanctified afflictions, by which a believer, (as in rain a hen collects her brood) gathers his best affections unto his Father and his God.
Reference: Divine Meditations and Holy Contemplations, #218.
[Affliction is sometimes] sent for the conversion of the soul. Sometimes in health the Word does not touch the heart. The world is all. Its gaieties, its pleasures, its admiration, captivate your mind. God sometimes draws you aside into a sickbed, and shows you the sin of your heart, the vanity of worldly pleasures and drives the soul to seek a sure resting-place for eternity in Christ. O happy sickness that draws the soul to Jesus (Job 33, Psm. 107).
Reference: Comfort in Sorrow, Christian Focus, 2002, p. 6, Used by Permission.
Your afflictions may only prove that you are more immediately under the Father's hand. There is no time that the patient is such an object of tender interest to the surgeon, as when he is bleeding beneath his knife. So you may be sure if you are suffering from the hand of a reconciled God, that His eye is all the more bent on you.
[Affliction] brings out graces that cannot be seen in a time of health. It is the treading of the grapes that brings out the sweet juices of the vine; so it is affliction that draws forth submission, weanedness from the world, and complete rest in God. Use afflictions while you have them.
Reference: Comfort in Sorrow, Christian Focus, 2002, p. 25, Used by Permission.
God's children should not doubt His love when He afflicts. Christ loved Lazarus peculiarly, and yet He afflicted Him very sore. A surgeon never bends his eye so tenderly upon his patient, as when he is putting in the lancet, or probing the wound to the very bottom. And so with Christ – He bends His eye most tenderly over His own at the time He is afflicting them… A goldsmith when he casts gold into the furnace looks after it.
Reference: Comfort in Sorrow, Christian Focus, 2002, p. 11, Used by Permission.
[Affliction] shows the power of Christ's blood, when it gives peace in an hour of trouble, when it can make happy in sickness, poverty, persecution and death. Do not be surprised if you suffer, but glorify God.
Reference: Comfort in Sorrow, Christian Focus, 2002, p. 24-25, Used by Permission.
It is one heart-quieting consideration in all the afflictions that befall us, that God has a special hand in them: “The Almighty hath afflicted me.” Instruments can no more stir till God gives them a commission, than the axe can cut of itself without a hand. Job eyed God in his affliction: therefore, as Augustine observes, he does not say, “The Lord gave, and the devil took away,” but “The Lord hath taken away.”
Reference: A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 13.
There are some things good but not pleasant, as sorrow and affliction. Sin is pleasant, but unprofitable; and sorrow is profitable, but unpleasant. As waters are purest when they are in motion, so saints are generally holiest when in affliction.
Reference: A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 285.