Understanding Affliction

“In affliction, God makes himself known to his people. In the Word we hear of God, but in affliction we see him. Prosperity is the nurse of atheism….In prosperity we pray and hardly take notice of the answers. But in affliction we can press God for the return of our prayers. God is never worse than his word. Affliction is a furnace to try the faith of God’s people and to see God’s faithfulness in his promises.”

–Thomas Case

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5 thoughts on “Understanding Affliction

  1. Caution: Curmudgeounly Contrarian Comment Coming:

    Prosperity isn’t bad in and of itself. Only prosperity without gratitude. And affliction isn’t better than prosperity, otherwise we should hope for hell rather than heaven. I know this is only a small snippet of a quote, but sometimes our Puritan friends seem a little unbalanced on this point.

  2. Valerie,
    Amen! I totally agree. Affliction is not a “more spiritual” state than prosperity. Both states have temptations. Those who are prosperous can be tempted to forget God; those who are afflicted can be tempted to forget God too. My purpose in posting the quote is for those who are suffering affliction right this minute. They need to remember that affliction can be a time of close interaction with God. Daniel in the furnace got to experience God in a priceless way that he would have missed had he never experienced affliction. More in a future post.

  3. What a timely quote for me (and many others, I’m sure). On a walk with my husband after dinner last evening, we spoke of just this topic and how we’re thankful for a current affliction for the exact reasons you mention in your comment to Valerie. Oh how we love and enjoy prosperity, and oh how we can have our eyes opened through our afflictions! I posted on this topic on Tuesday and would invite any of your readers looking for an encouraging, tear-jerker of a song (posted via you tube) to stop on by.

  4. Right-o. No objection to the reminder that God meets us in affliction. Mostly it was this bit that bothered me: “Prosperity is the nurse of atheism.” OK, but only in the same way that poverty is the nurse of thievery or shame is the nurse of despair. As you note, every circumstance has its temptations, and the secret, as St. Paul said, is to learn to be content whichever way the pendulum swings. Now if only I could get the hang of that! 😉

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