WORDS OF WISDOM
Many are the benefits which flow from affliction. The Scriptures bid us receive it, in view of this fact, in the spirit of thankfulness and resignation- “Be patient in tribulation”( Rom. 12:12) “Count it all joy, when ye fall in divers temptations” (Jas. 1:2) reckon yourselves “happy” when having to share the sufferings of Christ (1Peter 4:13,14); “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad” when persecuted for Christ’s sake (Matt. 7:12) To reach this mind is a matter of spiritual education. Only where enlightenment in Bible revelation exists, and where faith in that revelation is operative, can the right disposition be exhibited. Where these conditions are lacking, affliction will be resented and cursed, and explained (after the manner of the man of the world) on purely natural principles. This ailment and that worry will find a cause altogether away from the working of a kind and all-wise Providence. The part which God performs will be ignored. Should, perchance, some good be discerned as the outcome of affliction, then it will be attributed to “accident” or “luck.” Christ has forewarned us that tribulation will turn some from the way (Matt. 13:21); let us therefore take heed. But the right mind can be attained, and to reach it will be our credit to happiness. The history of the early disciples shows what is possible in this direction (Acts 5:41; Heb. 10:34; Rom. 5:3). The words of Paul are particularly edifying: “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake” (2 Cor. 12:9-10). Outside of this list not much remains to be mentioned in the way of affliction.
A T. Jannaway