Monday, 13 October 2008

All Things For Good: The Worst Things Work for Good to the Godly- Afflictions

After a short break I want to continue blogging on Watson's book 'All Things For Good'. Chapter two is awesome! I can't think of anything else that gives more comfort to me other than knowing that the worst aspects of life work for my good! Watson divides the chapter into 4 parts.

1) Affliction works for our good.
2) Temptation works for our good.
3) It works for our good when God hides His presence from us
4) Even sin works for our good!

1) Affliction works for our good

'In the word preached, we hear what a dreadful thing sin is, that it is both defiling and damning, but we who fear it no more than a painted lion; therefore God lets loose affliction, and then we feel sin bitter in the fruit of it. A sick-bed often teaches more than a sermon.' Watson makes the point that sin is well understood when we feel its effects. If we're going to grow in grace and power of the Spirit we need to be broken so that God can be glorified in our weakness.

'Afflictions make the heart more upright'. When people prosper their hearts tend to be divided (Hos 10:2). This is when the heart tries to have two masters- God and money. Suffering strips the person of outward blessings so that we cling on to God.

Afflictions make us more like Christ. 'God's rod is a pencil to draw Christ's image more lively upon us.' Christ was a man of sorrows He was acquainted with grief (Is 53:3). Suffering enables us to become conformed to Him (Phil 3:10).

Afflictions are destructive to sin. 'Afflictions are the medicine which God uses to carry off our spiritual diseases; they cure the tympany of pride, the fever of lust, the dropsy of covetousness.'

Afflictions loosen our hearts away from the world. 'When you dig away the earth from the root of a tree, it is to loosen the tree from the earth.' God unroots us from the world by afflicting us.

Afflictions work for good, as they make way for comfort. Our sorrow gets turned into joy (John 16:20). Our light affliction is working for our experience of glory (2 Cor 4:17).

Afflictions work for good as they make us understand the reality of who we are. God shows us that we are His Son's when He afflicts us (Heb 12:7). Afflictions magnify us because we are rewarded for our sufferings. A soldier is praised for his victories just like the Christian is rewarded for suffering.

Afflictions work for our good as they make us happy. Job 5:17 'Happy is the man whom God corrects'. Afflictions bring us nearer to God. They make us want to cling on to Him. Therefore they make us happy.

Afflictions work for good as they make way for glory (2 Cor 4:17). Afflictions don't merit glory but they prepare us for it!

'We should not so much look at the evil of affliction, as the good; not so much at the dark side of the cloud, as the light. The worst that God does to His children is to whip them to Heaven.'

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