Afflictions Follow One After Another

It is very rarely that one affliction comes alone; commonly, afflictions are not single things, but they come one upon the neck of another. God may strike one man in his possessions, then in his body, then in his name, wife, child or dear friend, and so it comes in a variety of ways; it is the way of God ordinarily (you may find it by experience) that one affliction seldom comes alone. Now this is hard, when one affliction follows after another, when there is a variety of afflictions, when there is a mighty change in one’s condition, up and down, this way, and that: there indeed is the trial of a Christian. Now there must be submission to God’s disposal in them. I remember it was said even of Cato, who was a Heathen, that no man saw him to be changed, though he lived in a time when the commonwealth was so often changed; yet it is said of him, he was the same still, though his condition was changed, and he passed through a variety of conditions. Oh that the same could be said of many Christians, that though their circumstances are changed, yet that nobody could see them changed, they are the same! Did you see what a gracious, sweet and holy temper they were in before? They are in it still. Thus are we to submit to the disposal of God in every condition. ~ The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs

Never Fear to Go to God

Shall our sins discourage us, when he appears there only for sinners? Are you bruised? Be of good comfort, he calls you. Conceal not your wounds, open all before him and take not Satan’s counsel. Go to Christ, although trembling, as the poor woman who said, ‘If I may but touch his garment’ (Matt. 9:21). We shall be healed and have a gracious answer. Go boldly to God in our flesh; he is flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone for this reason, that we might go boldly to him. Never fear to go to God, since we have such a Mediator with him, who is not only our friend but our brother and husband.  ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Christ’s Way is First to Wound, Then to Heal

Let this support us when we feel ourselves bruised. Christ’s way is first to wound, then to heal. No sound, whole soul shall ever enter into heaven. Think when in temptation, Christ was tempted for me; according to my trials will be my graces and comforts. If Christ be so merciful as not to break me, I will not break myself by despair, nor yield myself over to the roaring lion, Satan, to break me in pieces. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

A Sturdy Resolution is not Sanctifying Contentment

For if a man is to be free from discontent and worry it is not enough merely not to murmur but you must be active in sanctifying God’s name in the affliction. Indeed, this will distinguish it from a sturdy resolution not to be troubled. Though you have a sturdy resolution that you will not be troubled, do you make it a matter of conscience to sanctify God’s name in your affliction and is this where your resolution comes from? That is the main thing that brings quietness of heart and helps against discontent in a gracious heart. I say, the desire and care your soul has to sanctify God’s name in an affliction is what quietens the soul, and this is what others lack. ~ The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs

A Contented Heart is Active and Lively in Service to God

But where contentment of heart springs from grace, the heart is very quick and lively in the service of God. Yea, the more any gracious heart can bring itself to be in a contented disposition, the more fit it is for any service of God. And just as a contented heart is very active and busy in the work of God, so he is very active and busy in sanctifying God’s name in the affliction that befalls him. ~ The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs

Do Not Let Your Heart Sink Under Affliction

God would have us to depend on him though we do not see how the thing may be brought about; otherwise, we do not show a quiet spirit. Though an affliction is on you, do not let your heart sink under it. So far as your heart sinks and you are discouraged under affliction, so much you need to learn this lesson of contentment. ~ The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs

A Broken Heart Esteemed By God, But Not the World

‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ But note by the way, that this broken, this broken and contrite heart, is thus excellent only to God: ‘O God, ‘ saith he, ‘THOU wilt not despise it.’ By which is implied, the world have not this esteem or respect for such a heart, or for one that is of a broken and a contrite spirit.  ~ The Acceptable Sacrifice by John Bunyan (pg. 3)

Affliction Causes Men to Look to God

When God lays men upon their backs, then they look up to heaven. God’s smiting His people is like the musician’s striking upon the violin, which makes it put forth melodious sound. How much good comes to the saints by affliction! When they are pounded they send forth their sweetest smell. Affliction is a bitter root, but it bears sweet fruit. “All Things for Good” pg. 56

Affliction Produces Much Good

As the hard frosts in winter bring on the flowers in the spring, and as the night ushers in the morning-star, so the evils of affliction produce much good to those that love God. “All Things for Good” pg. 27

Affliction: The Test of the Christian

The test of a pilot is seen in a storm; so the test of a Christian is seen in affliction. That man has the right art of navigation who, when the boisterous winds blow from heaven, steers the ship of his soul wisely, and does not dash upon the rock of impatience. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 124