I desire to write you about something with which you are well acquainted: affliction. Much has been written on affliction by our forebears. A good part of it you have known for a long time. For example, you know that all affliction is ultimately traceable to our tragic fall in Adam. You know, too, the grievousness of affliction. After all, who enjoys suffering?
Yet you also know that all affliction is sent by a wise, fatherly God. Perhaps you even know--as the whole book of Job and the Puritans never tire of teaching us--that the important thing is not the amount of affliction we receive, but how we respond to that affliction.
Isn't it just here that your deepest questions about affliction and trial lie? For you want to respond to affliction in a God-glorifying manner, but you feel you often fall inexcusably short. You desire that your entire life may serve God's praise (Isa. 43:21), but somehow when you enter the heat and heart of affliction you find yourself losing grip on your firm intention. To respond rightly to affliction before it comes is hard; to look back on it gratefully after it is over is harder; but to live Christianly in affliction is hardest. Hence you ask yourself again and again: how may I live through affliction more Christianly--in a way that is more like Christ? How may I grow in grace while--yes, while--suffering affliction?
Friday, July 3, 2009
Our affliction and the afflictions of Christ
Over at Ref21 Joel Beeke has written an "open letter to true believers."
Please take time to read the entire post HERE.