Tag Archive | Affliction

Keep Hope at the Bottom of all Your Troubles

John Flavel (The Method of Grace, p. 154):

Let all that are under inward troubles for sin, take heed of drawing desperate conclusions against themselves, and the final state of their own souls. Though your case be sad, it is not desperate; though the night be troublesome and tedious, keep on in the way to Christ, and light will spring up. To mourn for sin is your duty; to conclude there is no hope for you in Christ, is your sin. You have wronged God enough already, do not add a further and greater abuse to all the rest, by an absolute despair of mercy. It was sin formerly to presume beyond any promise, it is your sin now to despair against many commands. I would say as the apostle in another case, I would not have you mourn as men that have no hope: your condition is sad as it is, but yet it is much better than once it was. You were once fully of sin and void of sense, now you have the sense of sin, which is no small mercy. You were once quite out of the way and method of mercy, now you are in that very path wherein mercy meets the elect of God. Keep hope, therefore, at the bottom of all your troubles.​

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It Is A Perfect Work That Is Made Up Of Both

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 365:

Again, his work is perfect, if we take it altogether, and do not cut it in parcels, and look on it so. Is there any workmanship beautiful, if ye look upon it in the doing? While the timber lies in one part, and the stones in another, is that a perfect building? When ye see one arm here, another there, and a leg scattered beside them, hath that image any comeliness? Certainly no; but look upon these united, and then they are perfect. Letters and syllables make no sense, till ye conjoin them in words, and words in sentences. Even so is it here; if ye look on the day alone, the light of it being perpetual would weary us, the night alone would be more so; but the interchange of them is pleasant, – day and night together make a distinct language of God’s praise. So God hath set prosperity and adversity the one over against the other. One of them, it may be, seems imperfect; nay, but it is a perfect work that is made up of both.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/his-work-is-perfect-take-it-altogether.89628/

At Peace With Crosses And Comforts

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 425:

The believer hath likewise peace with all the creatures, which the world hath not, and even in this he is a privileged man. He is in league with the stones of the field, and in peace in his tabernacle, Job 5:23. All things are his, because he is Christ’s, and all are Christ’s, who is the possessor of heaven and earth, at least the righteous heir of both, 1 Cor. 3:21. The unbeliever hath no right to the creature; though there be a cessation for a time between them and him, yet that is no peace, for they will at length be armed against him. They are witnesses already against him, and groan to God for the corruption that man’s sin hath subjected them unto. His table is, it may be, full, yet it is a snare unto him; he getteth ease and quietness outwardly: nay, but it slayeth the fool and destroyeth him. But the godly man is at peace, through Christ’s blood, with all crosses and comforts; the sting and enmity of all evils is taken away by Christ.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/the-believers-peace-with-all-the-creatures.89900/, Comment 1

The Godly Are No Losers

Ralph Erskine (The Vanity of Earthly Things, etc.), Sermons 1:249:

The godly are no losers, though they should lose all things in the world for Christ’s sake. What makes them venture the loss of all for the cause and interest of Christ? Why, they know Christ to be all, and the world nothing but vanity. They may easily forsake all things and follow Christ; for they lose but vanity, and reap solid comfort, solid happiness. We see this abundantly clear from Mark 10:29, 30, “Jesus said, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundred-fold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” This seems to be a contradiction: but, though they lose their houses and lands, etc., yet they shall reap them equivalently. Yea, what is more than the equivalent; they reap true comfort here and true happiness hereafter. So that their light afflictions work for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/the-godly-are-no-losers.92902/, Comment 1

Such Mercies Prove To Be Hard Crosses And Troubles

Buttercups and Brackish Water - geograph.org.uk - 180122Buttercups and Brackish Water by Glyn Baker

“If things do befall us when we have vexed ourselves into the possession of them, yet now they are mingled and brackish; they are not so clear and sweet…It will not at all have the relish of a mercy until we have repented of our former disturbance. He who is impatient until he has a good is usually unthankful when he receives it; for he knows not how to depend on God has yet to learn how to bless God. Neither can I expect a contentment of mind in the fruition, where there has been an unbelieving turbulence in the expectation…When the Israelites desired, by any means, to have a king, they had him, but it was in wrath…When God must answer, not our needs but our desires; not our wants but our pleasures, we usually find that such mercies prove to be hard crosses and troubles; and we scarce taste a delight before we break out into new complaints, so that by our vexing we have procured to ourselves a further burden.”

~Obadiah Sedgwick, Providence Handled Practically

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/dont-vex-your-mind.93135/

It Is The Promising God That Threatens

Double-Rainbow

Robert Traill (Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of our Faith), Works 3:54-55:

God reveals himself sometimes to us as a threatening God. Threatenings and promises seem to be very cross to one another. It is the promising God that does threaten, and the Lord knows very well how to make his promises and his threatenings agree together, if we were wise to make them agree together in our faith. If his children forsake my law, etc., I will visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquities with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, etc., Ps. 89:30-34. It were well for us, if we were as able to believe the standing of promises, and the love in his heart, notwithstanding the threatenings and the strokes of his hand.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/it-is-the-promising-god-that-threatens.91990/, Comment 1

The Doctrine of Joy