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Do any misimprove?-Use of.
3. Do any misimprove afflictions ?
Is. 1. 5. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
Is. 9. 13. The people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the Lord of hosts.
Jer. 5. 3. Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.
Amos 4. 6. I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. 7-13.
Jonah 4. 8. God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd?
4. Are afflictions and trials ever useful?
Dt. 8. 2. And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna.
2 Ch. 33. 12. And when he [Manasseh] was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God.
Job 5. 17. Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.
Job 36. 8. And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction; then he showeth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.
Ps. 23. 4. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Ps. 78. 34. When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their Rock, and the high God their Redeemer.
Ps, 94. 12. Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.
Ps. 119. 67. Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. 71. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. 75. I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
Pr. 3. 11. My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Is. 27. 7. Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? 9. By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin.
Is. 48. 10. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Hos. 5. 15. In their affliction they will seek me early.
Rom. 5. 3. Wie glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience, hope.
1 Cor. 11. 32. When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
2 Cor. 1. 5. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
2 Cor. 4. 17. Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eter
Use of Saints, to expect.
nal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Cor. 12. 10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Ph. 1. 12. But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which have happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Heb. 12. 10. For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness, unto them which are exercised thereby.
Jam. 1. 2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
5. Do afflictions teach the sovereignty of God?
Job 1. 20. Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Job 9. 12. Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?
6. Ought saints, while morally imperfect, to expect trials?
Ps. 34. 19. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
Hos. 2. 19. I will betroth thee unto me in righteous
Of the righteous, short-Support under.
ness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.
Heb. 12. 5. My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons: for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons.
Rom. 8. 17. If children, then heirs: heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Rev. 3. 19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. [See No. 423 and 434.]
7. Will the afflictions of the righteous be short?
Job 11. 16. Thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away.
Ps. 30. 5. His anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
2 Cor. 4.17. Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
8. Will saints be supported under afflictions?
Ps. 22. 23. Ye that fear the Lord, praise himFor he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
Ps. 31. 7. Thou hast considered my troubles; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my .foot in a large room.
Ps. 46. 1. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Ps. 55. 22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Ps. 71. 19. O God, who is like unto thee? Thou, which has showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.
Ps. 138. 7. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shalt save me.
Is. 25. 4. Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
Jer. 16. 19. O Lord, my strength and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction.
Lam. 3. 32. Though he cause grief, yet will he he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.
9. Ought we to sympathise with the afflicted?
Job. 6. 14. To him that is afflicted pity should be showed by his friend.
Pr. 17. 17. A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Rom. 12. 15. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
1. Cor. 1.3. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us is in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
Ph. 4. 14. Ye have well done that ye did communicate with my affliction.