Profit from Affliction

We have a daily devotional reading from a wonderful collection of Puritan essays called Voices From the Past.  I’ve got an arsenal of great quotes from these guys, and I often think of quoting them here for you all. So here’s one from today’s reading from Thomas Case. It’s a good sample of the Puritan view of affliction.

“In affliction God reveals the unknown corruptions in the hearts of his people: what pride, impatience, unbelief, idolatry, distrust of God,murmuring, and unthankfulness. Sin lies very close and deep and is not easily discerned until the fire of affliction comes. The furnace discovers the dross. In the furnace we see more corruption than was ever suspected. What self-love is there boiling and fretting within me, what pride, distrust in God, creature-confidence, discontent, murmuring, rising against the holy and righteous dispensations of God! Woe is me, what a heart I have!….

In affliction, he empties us of ourselves to make us fly to Jesus Christ for righteousness and strength. He lets us see what is crooked that we may straighten it; what is weak that we may strengthen it; what is lacking that we may supply it; and what is lame that it may not be turned out of the way.

Affliction also teaches us to pray. They that have never prayed before, will pray in affliction. They will pray more frequently and fervently…In our affliction, God keeps us upon our knees. Christ himself in agony prayed more intensively. So with David. He gathered up all his strength to pray, and like a true son of Jacob, wrestled with God, and would not let him go until he got the blessing.”

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11 thoughts on “Profit from Affliction

  1. My internet has been out all day, and the first thing I read when it is restored is this post, how fitting! We (my husband and I) have been twisting and turning over recent events involving our army son who is in harms way and seeing a side of ourselves that is, shall we say, less than Cristlike. Just as we conquer one area such as doubt or worry, another such as impatience or grumbling takes over. We flee to Christ and then return to our own imaginations only to flee to Christ once again. And so the days go by, the refining continues, the prayers rise to Heaven, to the throne of Grace…and we wait on the Lord.

  2. I have to ask, do you have clairvoyant powers, Mrs Wilson? Just kidding. But I’ve been learning this lesson in a particularly poignant manner in the last day or two.

  3. “Oh, how I love Jesus…”
    He used this post to encourage and admonish me today.
    How dear of him to speak directly to me — through you!

  4. Thank God for the puritans and thank you for quoting this. God admonishes and rebukes us through His people. An encouragement to me today.

  5. Thanks for the quote. I’m leading my church small group’s discussion on 1 Peter 4:12-19 on Saturday, and the only thing lacking was a fitting Puritan quote. 🙂

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