IN AFFLICTION, LET THE REDEEMER BE GLORIFIED IN YOU

“Be watchful against everything that would mar the simplicity of your faith, and so dim the glory of Jesus; especially guard against the adoption of unlawful or doubtful measures intended to disentangle you from present difficulties” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 14th).

“We are quick to think that our hardships merit a time of peace and ease. But we can see from the apostles’ example that this is not the case at all. Submitting to hardships is so often difficult; let us pray for God’s grace so that we might be spurred on to new and radical obedience by the trials we face” John Calvin (ref#164, July 22nd).

“The believer should never fail to remember that the present is, by the appointment of God, his state of affliction. It is God’s ordained, revealed will that His covenant children here should be afflicted. When called by grace, they should never take into their account any other state. They become the disciples of the religion of the cross, become the followers of a crucified Lord, put on a yoke, and assume a burden: they must, then, expect the inward cross and the outward cross. To escape it is impossible. To pass to glory without it is to go by a way other than God’s ordering, and in the end to fail to arrive there. The gate is strait and the way is narrow that leads to life, and a man must become nothing if he would enter and be saved. He must deny himself; he must become a fool that he may be wise, and receive the sentence of death in himself that he should not trust in himself” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, June 29th).

“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rest upon you” (1 Pet 4:14 ESV).

“In the face of opposition, envy, and prejudice [the apostles] went on with their work, ‘speaking boldly in the Lord’” Ellen G. White (ref#331, p177).

“Believer suffering for Christ, rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer shame for His sake. What distinction is awarded you! What honor is put on you! What a favored opportunity you have to bring glory to His name; to illustrate His sustaining grace, upholding strength, almighty power, infinite wisdom, and comforting love! By the firm yet mild preservation of your principles, by the dignified yet gentle spirit of forbearance, by the uncompromising yet kind resistance to temptation, let the Redeemer by glorified in you” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 14th).

IN AFFLICTION, EMBRACE IT

“’[W]e glory in tribulations knowing that tribulation worketh patience. –Romans 5:3’” By patiently enduring suffering for His sake, saints greatly glorify their Redeemer” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 14th).

“The apostles are delivered so they might employ themselves in bravely preaching the gospel and courageously provoking their enemies until they valiantly die. The apostles are eventually put to death when the hand of God creases and they have finished their course. But for now the Lord opens the prison for them so they may be at liberty to fulfill their function. This is worth noting because we see many people who, having escaped out of persecution, afterward keep silence, as if they have done their duty toward God and are no more to be troubled. Others escape further duty by denying Christ. The Lord does deliver his children to the end, not that they may cease from the course that they have begun, but rather that they might afterward be more zealous” John Calvin (ref#164, July 22nd).

[B]ecause the [apostles] knew that they were to live and to die to the Lord, [they] did not refuse to do what the Lord commands. So we must always mark what function the Lord prescribes to us. We may be asked to do many things that may discouraged us, unless we are content with the commandment of God alone and do our duty, committing the success to him” John Calvin (ref#164, July 22nd).

“[W]e must always come back to this consolation: The Lord planned our sorrow, so let us submit to his will” John Calvin (ref#313, p63).

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD” (Ps 31:24 ESV)!

“We trust Him, and sin dies; we love Him, and grace lives; we wait for Him, and grace is strengthened; we see Him as He is, and grace is perfected forever” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, May 31st PM).

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:5-7 ESV).

IN AFFLICTION, JESUS IS WITH YOU

“My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite, until the LORD from heaven looks down and sees” (Lam 3:49-50 ESV).

“[God] may be lost to your view, but you cannot be lost to His. The darkness of your night may veil Him from your eye, but the ‘darkness and the light are both alike’ to him (Ps 139:12). Therefore go to Him for your song. Ask Him to sanctify your sorrow by His grace, to comfort it by His Spirit, to glorify Himself in your patient endurance of it, to make you to know the reason for your trial, and to make your trial answer the mission on which it was sent, so that you will be able to raise this note of praise: ‘Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent’ (Ps 30:11-12)” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 4th).

“How much of God’s greatness and glory in nature is concealed until the night reveal it! The sun is withdrawn, twilight disappears, and darkness robes the earth. Then appears the brilliant sky, studded and glowing with myriads of constellations. [H]ow little should we know of Jesus if it were not for the nights of mental darkness and sorrow of heart” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 4th).

“[Y]ou shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it” (Isa 30:19-21 ESV).

“Let the thought of His special love for you be a spiritual painkiller, a dear soother of your troubles. [G]rasp the divine Word with a personal, appropriating faith. Hear Jesus say to you, ‘I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32 ESV). See Him walking on the waters of your trouble, for He is there, and He is saying, “‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid’” (Matt 14:27 ESV). Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Oct 21st PM).

“There is no position in which the providence of God places His saints for which the grace of Jesus is not all-sufficient, if sincerely and earnestly sought” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 20th).

“[You] listen to my prayers for help. [You pay] attention to me” (Ps 116:1-2 NCV).

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).

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105 ESV). If your law had not been my delight I would have perished in my affliction” (Ps 119:92 ESV).

GOD’S CONTROL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES

“[C]onsider those who patiently remain under their trials spiritually prosperous and fortunate. You heard of the patience of Job, how he patiently remained under the trials to which he was subjected, and you saw the consummation [of those trials] brought about by the Lord, that the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11 Wuest).

[M]y salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed. Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their reviling” (Isa 51:6-7 ESV).

“O let my trembling soul be still,

And wait Thy wise, Thy holy will!

I cannot, Lord, Thy purpose see,

Yet all is well since ruled by Thee” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, May 22nd AM).

“[A]lways pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1 ESV). “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night” (Luke 18:7 ESV).

“[W]hatever God does endures forever, nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts” (Ecc 3:14,18 ESV).

“He gave us friends; in love He has removed them. In goodness He blessed us with health; in goodness He has taken it away. Yet this is the way along which He is conducting us to glory” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jan 31st).

HOW GOD BRINGS ABOUT HIS PURPOSE IN AFFLICTION

[T]he whole soul, ensnared by the allurements of the flesh, seeks its happiness on the earth. To meet this disease, the Lord makes his people sensible of the vanity of the present life, by a constant proof of its miseries” John Calvin (ref#113, p465)

“He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity” (Job 36:15 ESV).

“[O]ur suffering is never purposeless, blind, unfair, or random. [I]n the midst of adversity he is working out his gracious plans for us (2 Cor 4:17-18). [T]he Savior is the only innocent one to ever suffer” Bob Kauflin (ref#199, p132).

“When difficulty exposes the weakness of your resolve and the limits of your strength, you do not have to panic, because he will endure even in those moments when you don’t feel able to do so yourself” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 12th).

“[God’s children] were kept walking humbly with [Him], and this was the secret of their safety. God can bring His servant from the loftiest height to the lowest depth of adversity, yet love him still with an unchanged and deathless affection” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 14th).

“In your distress you called and [God] rescued you, [He] answered you” (Ps 81:7 NIV).

If I don’t buffet my body GOD will do it for me through His discipline.

“Bright is the oasis that blooms in the wilderness of sand. When the Israelites provoked the Most High by their continued idolatry, He punished them by withholding both dew and rain, so that their land was visited by a sore famine. But while He did this, He took care that His own chosen ones would be secure. If all other brooks are dry, yet will there be one reserved for Elijah; and when that fails, God will still preserve for him a place of sustenance; No, not only for one, because the Lord did not have simply one ‘Elijah,’ but He had a remnant according to the election of grace, who were hidden by fifties in a cave; and though the whole land was subject to famine, yet these fifties in the cave were fed, and fed from Ahab’s table, too, by His faithful, God-fearing steward, Obadiah. Let us from this draw the inference: come what may, God’s people are safe” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, July 6th AM).

“Great tempest, great calm; God proportions the comfort to the affliction” Pasquier Quesnel (ref#333, p225).

JESUS’ SUFFERING

“He was both the Lord’s anointed and the Lord’s afflicted” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, May 31st AM).

“It is the cross that gives God his credibility. In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it” John Stott (ref#258, p63)?

“What is your sorrow, compared with Christ’s? What is your grief, gauged by your Lord’s? Your Master has passed before you, flinging the curse and the sin from your path, paving it with promises, carpeting it with love, and fencing it around with the hedge of His divine perfections. Press onward, then, resisting your foe resolutely, bearing your cross patiently, drinking your cup submissively, and learning, while sitting at the Saviour’s feet, or leaning upon His bosom, to be like Him, ‘meek and lowly in heart’” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jan 3rd).

“[A]ll who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12 ESV).

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor 4:16-17 ESV).

“Why should our exalted Lord appear in His wounds in glory? The wounds of Jesus are His glories, His jewels, His sacred ornaments, the cross! There we behold all His beauties in perfection, all His attributes developed, all His love drawn out, all His character expressed” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 23rd PM).

“Behold how every wound of His

A precious balm distills,

Which heals the scars that sin had made,

And cures all mortal ills” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 23rd PM).

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies” (2 Cor 4:8-10 ESV).

CHRIST TEACHES SUFFERING

“For us all—for you, tempted to interpret your afflictions as signals of wrath and your sins as seals of condemnation, your poverty as the mark of neglect, your seasons of darkness as token of desertion, and your doubts and fears as evidences of a false hope and of self-deception. For you, dear saint of God, Jesus was delivered up” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Dec 14th).

“[L]et no Christian call into question God’s love when he is brought under painful afflictions and trials. God did not enrich Christ on earth with temporal prosperity. But He [gave] Him the Spirit without measure (Jon 3:34). Learn that spiritual blessings are the principal gifts of divine love” Arthur W. Pink (ref#253, p10).

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God” (1 Pet 4:1 ESV).

“Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. 1 Peter 2:21 “Christ teaches us how to live, and He also teaches us how to suffer. Because we live in a world of suffering and we need to be taught how to suffer, He teaches us how to suffer. The cross teaches us how to suffer—not only how to live morally and ethically, but how to suffer. ‘The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ come to us all: people misunderstanding us, injustices done to us, the failure of trusted friends, people letting us down, disappointments, loneliness, physical pain” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 30th).

“He that abides in Christ the Crucified One, learns to know what it is to be crucified with Him, and in Him to be indeed dead unto sin” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p199).

“He suffered for us; he calls us to be conformed to him in sufferings. He conquered in his own person, and he will make each of his members more than conquerors in due season” John Newton (ref#322, p182).

AFFLICTION MAKES SIN MORE SINFUL

“The rainbow can only be seen painted against the backdrop of clouds” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Aug 12th PM).

“Before I was afflicted I went astray” (Ps 119:67 ESV).

“Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way” (1 Pet 4:1-2 MSG).

“Oh, how often does the season of trial detect the secret state of our souls! We are not aware of our impaired strength, of our weak faith, of our powerless grace; of how feeble our hold on Christ is; of how legalistic our views of the gospel are; of how clouded our minds may be; of how partial our acquaintance with God is, until we are led into the path of trouble” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jan 25th).

“God is testing [the children of man] that they may see that they themselves are but beasts” (Eccl 3:18 ESV).

“What hard, knotty timber must we be, that the Lord hath to hack us so much, in order to render us plain and smooth” John Brown of Haddington (ref#333, p289).

AFFLICTION ENDEARS OUR SOUL TO GOD

“Behold God is mighty, and does not despise any; he is mighty in strength of understanding. He does not keep the wicked alive, but gives the afflicted their right. He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous” (Job 36:5-7 ESV).

“In no way does God more effectually comfort those that are cast down than by drawing them to Himself” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 18th). “The LORD helps [the righteous] and delivers them; because they take refuge in him” (Ps 37:40 ESV).

“[A]ll the children of God are destined to be conformed to him. Hence it affords us great consolation in hard and difficult circumstances, which men deem evil and adverse, to think that we are holding fellowship with the sufferings of Christ; that as he passed to celestial glory through a labyrinth of many woes, so we too are conducted thither through various tribulations” John Calvin (ref#113, p458).

“The hardships that you are facing are the tool of his exposing, forgiving, liberating, and transforming grace” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 19th).

“Has the Lord been leading you away, severing ties, and breaking up your calm; disappointing you here, and thwarting you there? Amazed, you have asked, ‘Lord why this?’ And the only reply has been the comfort He speaks to your weary, desolate heart” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 30th).

“For [God] will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul [he] will replenish” (Jer 31:25 ESV).

“[L]et the brother who is in lowly circumstances [poor and afflicted] be glorying in his exalted position [namely, in the midst of trials which teach him patience]” (James 1:9 Wuest).