…”Affliction comes not forth out of the dust, neither does trouble spring out of the ground,” but they are all sent in wisdom and love; and every circumstance, as to time and manner, is exactly ordered for the best. Were every circumstance more narrowly examined, it would doubtless give us a great insight into the wisdom and love of God in all his afflictive dispensations. God does not willingly afflict any of his children, but they always stand in absolute need, at the very time, of the very affliction which He sends. It could not be laid aside, not delayed, not altered for another, without great hurt and injury to the soul.
God’s designs in afflictions are various; but all are gracious, and for our good. He may intend to bring us to repentance for some past sins, as the three days’ pestilence was sent to humble David for numbering the people. Or, it may be to prevent our being taken in some dangerous snare, into which we may be in great danger of falling; and it is better to endure the heaviest affliction, than to carry about with us a guilty conscience. ‘Anything rather than sin,’ is the language of the Christian’s heart. Or it may be to exercise some grace, that it may thereby gain strength, and the soul be prepared for some trying circumstances into which it is soon to be brought; as was the case with Joseph. The trials with which he had been exercised, prepared him for his future exaltation, and some of them contributed to bring it about…~ Thomas Charles
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