It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men.
The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion. It has been the most dishonourable belief against the character of the divinity, the most destructive to morality, and the peace and happiness of man, that ever was propagated since man began to exist. It is better, far better, that we admitted, if it were possible, a thousand devils to roam at large, and to preach publicly the doctrine of devils, if there were any such, than that we permitted one such impostor and monster as Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and the Bible prophets, to come with the pretended word of God in his mouth, and have credit among us.Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled; and the bloody persecutions, and tortures unto death and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes; whence arose they, but from this impious thing called revealed religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man? The lies of the Bible have been the cause of the one, and the lies of the Testament of the other.
Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.
Bad luck with women is a determined man's road to success. For every affliction, he makes, out of indignation, yet another advancement in order to exceed the man that the woman chose over him. This goes to show that great men are made great because they once learned how to fight the feeling of rejection.
The afflicted are basically the majority or only set of people who are insulted by injustice in society today.
It is the people who are afflicted with ungodliness and injustice that would cry unto the Lord for change.
The main recipients of injustice in any society are the afflicted the distressed and the troubled one, both in soul and in body.
We love being mentally strong, but we hate situations that allow us to put our mental strength to good use.
Glory follows afflictions, not as the day follows the night but as the spring follows the winter; for the winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions sanctified prepare the soul for glory.
Affliction equips the suffering to empathize with others in anguish and not only does it strengthen them, it enables them to be consoling comforters in a world full of hurt.
One's suffering, one's melancholy is, in itself, really only looked upon as failure or as punishment, as detestable or sinful or socially unacceptable in the eyes of man; but this is not so in the eyes of God: for He is close to the broken-hearted.
Courage lightens distress, hope alleviates grief, doubt aggravates affliction, fear worsens anguish, worry magnifies misery, and faith overthrows despair.
When we start rating each other’s lives and afflictions, we lose a bit of our humanity, compassion and perspective.
The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself. Turn where you will—above, below, without, or within—you will find a cross in everything, and everywhere you must have patience if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown.
Christ literally walked in our shoes and entered into our affliction. Those who will not help others until they are destitute reveal that Christ's love has not yet turned them into the sympathetic persons the gospel should make them.
The Lord's mercy often rides to the door of our hearts on the black horse of affliction. Jesus uses the whole range of our experiences to wean us from earth and woo us to Heaven.
If we are taught by God in affliction we are blessed. When God teaches, he applies his instruction to the heart. He commands light to shine out of darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6). The Holy Spirit brings divine truths in such a clear and convincing light that the soul sits down fully satisfied. The soul both sweetly and freely acquiesces in the revealed truths. When God teaches, the soul experiences truth as David (Psalm 119:71). Some only know notionally, but David knew by experience; he became more acquainted with the Word. He knew it more, loved it better, and was more transformed in the nature of it. Thus, Paul, “I know who I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12) – “I have experienced his faithfulness and his all-sufficiency; I can trust my all with him. I am sure he will keep it safe to that day.” Those taught of God in affliction can speak experimentally, in one degree or another. They can speak of their communion with God (Psalm 23:4). The sweet singer of Israel had comfortable presence. Those taught of God can say: “As we have heard, so we have seen. I have experienced this word upon mine heart, and can set my seal that God is true.” God’s teaching is a powerful teaching. It conveys strength as well as light. Truth only understood needs to be put into action and practice. God’s teachings are sweet to the taste. David rolled them as sugar under his tongue, and received more sweetness than Samson from his honeycomb. Luther said he would not live in paradise without the Word, but with the Word he could live in hell itself. Teaching is sweet because it is suitable to the renewed man (Jeremiah 15:16).
The school of suffering never graduates any students, so ask God to teach to you the lessons He wants you to learn.
The readiest way which God takes to draw a man to himself is, to afflict him in that he loves most, and with good reason; and to cause this affliction to arise from some good action done with a single eye; because nothing can more clearly show him the emptiness of what is most lovely and desirable in all the world.
Conversion can also occur among those who already have the faith. Christians will become real Christians, with less façade and more foundation. Catastrophe will divide them from the world, force them to declare their basic loyalties; it will revive shepherds who shepherd rather than administrate, reverse the proportion of saints and scholars in favor of saints, create more reapers for the harvest, more pillars of fire for the lukewarm; it will make the rich see that real wealth is in the service of the needy; and, above all else, it will make the glory of Christ’s Cross shine out in a love of the brethren for one another as true and loyal sons of God.
If your positivity immune system is low, any exposure to a person afflicted with negativity can poison your life.
If we have, through grace, an interest in Him who is the Fountain, we may rejoice in him when the streams of temporal mercies are dried up.