2018-06-20 Trials and Affliction.

Good Morning!

People ask me how I come up with material for these posts. It depends. Sometimes I have doctrine that I work out through these pages. Other times it is personal events that trigger a topic. Sometimes I have no idea and simply open up my bible. I usually write my own material, but every once in a while, I come across something that needs to be shared. Today, I thought I had it down, but then I read my own devotional as I brushed my teeth. I’m sure you’ll find it fits all of us.

It’s another page from “Voices from the Past Volume 1 – Puritan Devotional Readings” that was originally penned by Thomas Case.

Acts 22:10 What shall I do, Lord?

In our sufferings, we need to be more concerned about our duty than our deliverance. We should seriously consider what it is that God desires in our present dispensation. There is no condition or trial in the world but we have opportunity to exercise some special grace or duty. To desire deliverance alone is self-love and quite natural to man. In affliction man seeks to be delivered and released from his burden. Men make more haste to get their afflictions removed than to be sanctified in them. Men should sit down, consider their ways, and make new resolutions for better things. A man could think: ‘If God would just heal me of this sickness, or deliver me out of this distress, I would walk more closely with him, I would be more faithful in family duties, I would be more fruitful in my conversations, and I would do thus and thus.’ Just this, however, can be nothing more than a wile of a deceitful heart, or a temptation and snare of the devil to gain more time, as it were, from God; a mere diversion to turn aside the heart from the present duty which God expects. God intends good to the soul by the present chastisement, and he directs the soul to discern his aim: ‘I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more; teach me what I do not see; if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’ (Job 34:31-32). Let us search and try our ways. Let us consider that the present condition is best for us, and learn in whatever state we are, to be content (Phil. 4:11). Let us rejoice in tribulation (Rom. 5:3). Let us lift up Jesus Christ and make him glorious by our afflictions. Paul studied more how to adorn the cross than to avoid it. If he must suffer for Christ, O that Christ might not suffer by him! May Christ be exalted, and let us entrust our souls to a faithful Creator (1 Pet. 4:19).

This is wisdom, folks.

Father, let me learn these lessons well. Amen.

Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers

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