GOD DISCIPLINES HIS CHURCH
“God is presently restraining his own wrath and his enemies’ efforts to destroy the church as he patiently gathers his redeemed people through the testimony that his suffering people proclaim about Jesus” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2455).
“the believer often expects all his heaven on earth [Y]et the present is only the wilderness state of the Church. Life now is only a pilgrimage and sojourning. If we do not have affliction, we lack the evidence of our true sonship, for the Father ‘scourgeth every son whom he receiveth’ (Heb 12:6). The Spirit also comforts by revealing the purpose for which the affliction is sent. [The] wounded, bleeding, and suffering, seeks a wounded, bleeding, suffering Savior more earnestly than ever. When the purpose for which the trial was sent is accomplished, it may be in the discovery of some departure or in the removal of an obstruction to the growth of grace—some object that obscured the glory of Jesus and that suspended His visits of love to the soul” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 3rd).
“[God] suffers no affliction to come upon His children but such as is essential for their present and eternal good. He will purify His church, even as Christ purified the temple during His ministry on earth. All that He brings upon His people in test and trial comes that they may gain deeper piety and greater strength to carry forward the triumphs of the cross” Ellen G. White (ref#331, p524-525).
“When God afflicts the godly, he holds a remedy in his hand; and when he throws the godly into the grave, he can restore them to life and safety. We therefore can understand the design of God to chasten his church with temporal evils” John Calvin (ref#164, May 23rd).
“Some people seem to be naturally gifted leaders in the church, raise children in the faith with seemingly little effort, and succeed in evangelizing others at every opportunity without any hesitation. They communicate well spiritually, live close to the Lord, and are filled with Christ and genuine joy in believing. These 100 percent yielders intimidate us who struggle at producing even 30 percent. But according to our Lord, all believers are reckoned as ‘good soil’ if the Word of God flourishes in them. Take heart in our Savior’s encouragement to stand firm in the faith, and ask for grace to bear more fruit in days to come, to his praise” John Calvin (ref#164, June 27th).