To know that nothing hurts the godly, is a matter of comfort; but to be assured that all things which fall out shall co-operate for their good, that their crosses shall be turned into blessings, that showers of affliction water the withering root of their grace and make it flourish more; this may fill their hearts with joy till they run over.
God takes away the world, that the heart may cleave more to Him in sincerity.
God sweetens outward pain with inward peace.
Not to be afflicted is a sign of weakness; for, therefore God imposeth no more on me, because he sees I can bear no more.
When we grow careless of keeping our souls, then God recovers our taste of good things again by sharp crosses.
The winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions sanctified prepare the soul for glory.
Do not even such things as are most bitter to the flesh, tend to awaken Christians to faith and prayer, to a sight of the emptiness of this world, and the fadingness of the best it yield? Doth not God by these things (ofttimes) call our sins to remembrance, and provoke us to amendment of life? How then can we be offended at things by which we reap so much good?.... Therefore if mine enemy hunger, let me feed him; if he thirst, let me give him drink. Now in order to do this, (1) We must see good in that, in which other men can see none. (2) We must pass by those injuries that other men would revenge. (2) We must show we have grace, and that we are made to bear what other men are not acquainted with. (4) Many of our graces are kept alive, by those very things that are the death of other men's souls.... The devil, (they say) is good when he is pleased; but Christ and His saints, when displeased.
As the wicked are hurt by the best things, so the godly are bettered by the worst.
Poverty and affliction take away the fuel that feeds pride.
I am mended by my sickness, enriched by my poverty, and strengthened by my weakness.... Thus was it with.... Manasseh, when he was in affliction, "He besought the Lord his God": even that king's iron was more precious to him than his gold, his jail a more happy lodging than his palace, Babylon a better school than Jerusalem. What fools are we, then, to frown upon our afflictions! These, how crabbed soever, are our best friends. They are not indeed for our pleasure, they are for our profit.
Labour to grow better under all your afflictions, lest your afflictions grow worse, lest God mingle them with more darkness, bitterness and terror.
The secret formula of the saints: When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord's choicest wines.
The way to be eased is not struggling with it, but meekly to bear it.
There is a fable, but it has its moral for this purpose. A certain ass, laded with salt, fell into a river, and after he had risen, found his burden lighter, for the moisture had made it melt away; whereupon he would ever after lie down in the water as he traveled with his burden, and so ease himself. His owner perceiving this craft , after laded him with Wool. The ass purposing to ease himself, as before, laid himself down in the water, and thinking to have ease, rising again to feel his weight, found it heavier.
Look how fears have presented themselves, so have supports and encouragements; yea, when I have started, even as it were at nothing else but my shadow, yet God, as being very tender of me, hath not suffered me to be molested, but would with one Scripture or another, strengthen me against all; insomuch that I have often said, Were it lawful, I could pray for greater trouble, for the greater comfort's sake.
He that rides to be crowned, will not think much of a rainy day.
God takes a safe course with His children, that they may not be condemned with the world, He permits the world to condemn them, that they may not love the world, the world hates them....
Afflictions are light when compared with what we really deserve. They are light when compared with the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. But perhaps their real lightness is best seen by comparing them with the weight of glory which is awaiting us.
—Arthur W. Pink
No wise man can expect that...God should diet us with a continual feast. It would neither suit with our health, nor the condition of this pilgrimage. Live, therefore, on your peace of conscience as your ordinary diet; when this is wanting, know that God appointeth you a fast for your health; and when you have a feast of high joys, feed on it and be thankful! But when they are taken from you, gape not after them as the disciples did after Christ at His ascension; but return thankfully to your ordinary diet of peace.
The highest honor that God can confer upon his children is the blood-red crown of martyrdom. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings that God has made, are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us.
It is the great support and solace of the saints in all the distresses that befall them here, that there is a wise Spirit sitting in all the wheels of motion, and governing the most eccentric creatures and their most pernicious designs to blessed and happy issues.