(James Meikle, "Solitude Sweetened")
"We also rejoice in our afflictions, because
we know that affliction produces endurance,
endurance produces proven character, and
proven character produces hope." Rom. 5:3-4
Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.
Sometimes God kindly sends afflictions to chastise
His people for sin, and curb their carnal affections.
Yet, at other times He sends afflictions to exercise
and improve their graces.
Whatever my affliction is, the wisdom of Him
who sends it, should make me embrace and
bear it without repining.
Afflictions do not spring out of the dust--nor
come at random. Some of God's favorite ones
have, for wise ends, had the severest afflictions.
Affliction deadens the pleasures of sense, and
gives the soul a relish for spiritual things. It
divorces the soul from the creature, and draws
it near to God.
Affliction renders the creature tasteless, and the
world barren. It dispels the intoxicating juice of
carnal pleasures and sensual delights.
I should welcome whatever afflictions loosen me
from this world, and bring me nearer to God.