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Affliction is a Blessing?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by PastorSBC1303, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303 Active Member

    Aug 21, 2003
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    I found the following devotion, thought some of you might enjoy it:

    How is affliction a blessing?

    (James W. Alexander, "Consolation" 1852)

    "Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Lord"
    (Psalm 94:12)

    We are all familiar with suffering. We are either now
    enduring, or shall at some future time endure severe
    afflictions. There are few of us therefore to whom the
    inquiry may not be interesting--how is affliction a
    blessing? The question may be thus answered.

    The chastisements which God inflicts upon His children
    are profitable to them--as they tend under the Divine
    blessing to promote piety in the heart. Chastisement
    forms a necessary part of that paternal discipline, by
    which our heavenly Father fits His children for their
    eternal rest in glory.

    1. Chastisement is useful, because it tends to convince
    the believer of his misery, and shows him that without
    Christ he cannot be happy. One great end of your
    affliction is answered, when you are led to commence
    and persevere in a faithful and earnest application to
    Christ, as the great Physician.

    2. Chastisement is useful, as it leads the believer to
    see and feel his exceeding sinfulness.

    3. Chastisement is useful, as a trial of faith. Adversity
    is compared to the fire, the furnace, the refining-pot
    or crucible, because it not only purifies--but tries; it
    not only consumes the dross--but ascertains the gold.

    4. Chastisement is useful, as it strengthens faith, by
    leading the believer to the promises--and especially
    to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    5. Chastisement is useful, because it leads the believer
    to exercise entire submission to the Divine will.

    6. Chastisement is useful, because it leads the believer
    to look for complete happiness in heaven alone. Let the
    worst, most lingering, and most aggravated instance of
    suffering be presented--and the hope of heaven is still
    sufficient to mitigate its ills! It is well to learn to look
    beyond all secondary, earthly, imperfect comforts--to
    God, the source of good, and to that world where all
    tears are wiped away!

    In pain, and despondency, and grief, we go to Jesus
    as to a friend who sticks closer than a brother. We
    pour our sorrows into His friendly ear, and ask His
    aid, and then, when He reveals to us His love, and
    speaks His promises, and unveils His face, even though
    He gives no assurance that we shall be set free, He does
    more--He gives us Himself, and faith is refreshed and
    nourished by receiving Him. And shall we not regard
    as a mercy--that illness, or that bereavement, or that
    severe trial--which so embitters the world's cup, as to
    lead us to Christ, that we may see His beauty, and be
    filled with His love?

    "It is good for me that I have been afflicted!" Ps. 119:71

    We continue to publish chapters from Alexander's
    book, "Consolation". You will will find the following
    chapter to be particularly comforting and helpful:

    "Consolation derived from the uses of chastisement"

    Grace Gems!

    A treasury of ageless sovereign grace devotional writings
  2. TaterTot

    TaterTot Guest

    Wow, that was beautiful. Its neat to view chastisement as part of the refining process. Surely, refinement is painful, or there wouldnt be a need for it.
  3. NiteShift

    NiteShift New Member

    Jul 9, 2005
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    Speaking from my own experience, there have been times when I felt very strongly that Jesus wanted me to change my behavior in one way or another. And at those times I have been shown that blessings would be withheld from me if I didn't obey. That can be a positive thing, because then I know with certainty that the Lord is concerned about me personally, and is concerned with my actions and attitudes. He is the Good Shepherd.
  4. TaterTot

    TaterTot Guest

    I had never thought about chastisement being part of the refining process. Difficult situations, yes. I like the idea of that, and I believe there is some validity to that. We do need to be reminded of our sinfulness and that outside of His will we cannot be happy.
  5. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303 Active Member

    Aug 21, 2003
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    Interesting thoughts guys. Thanks for sharing. I thought it was an excellent devotion.