HomeTopical IndexAuthorsSite MapSearch


Scriptures relating to affliction

Affliction Collection

The best book in the minister's library

It aids in understanding God's Word

Doctor Affliction

Afflictions are good for us

God will give grace and strength to bear our trials and afflictions

Seeing God in the affliction

No secular and sacred distinctions

Labor to grow better

How much some of us owe to a bed of sickness!

He takes away all the props

Affliction is the lot of saints below - article by James Meikle

That hand can never smite you - J. C. Ryle

There is nothing like a little gracious starvation - C. H. Spurgeon

God has chosen me - C. H. Spurgeon

Why am I afflicted? - Albert Barnes

This was not the pleasant life which they dreamed of on their wedding day - J. R. Miller

De 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

Job 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Job 14:1  Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

Job 5:17  Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

Job 5:17  Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

Ps 119:67  Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

Ps 119:75  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:

Pr 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Jas 1:2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Re 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

The Best Book in the Minister's Library

"I do not know whether my experience is that of all God’s people; but I am afraid that all the grace that I have got out of my comfortable and easy times and happy hours, might almost lie on a penny. But the good that I have received from my sorrows, and pains, and griefs, is altogether incalculable. What do I not owe to the hammer and the anvil, the fire and the file? What do I not owe to the crucible and the furnace, the bellows that have blown up the coals, and the hand which has thrust me into the heat? Affliction is the best bit of furniture in my house. It is the best book in a minister’s library. We may wisely rejoice in tribulation, because it worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope; and by that way we are exceedingly enriched, and our faith grows strong."

- C. H. Spurgeon, The Trial of Your Faith

Affliction aids the understanding of God's Word

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. - Ps 119:71

Martin Luther said that he could never understand some of the Psalms until he was afflicted.

- Thomas Watson, All Things for Good

Doctor Affliction

Doctor Affliction is the best expositor of Scripture. I can recommend you Dr. Gill and Dr. Adam Clarke and many others, but if you want to understand the Word of God you must go to the school of trial.

- C. H. Spurgeon

Afflictions are good for us

"It was good for me to be afflicted!" Psalm 119:71

I find afflictions to be good for me. I have always
found them so. Afflictions are happy means in the
hands of the Holy Spirit to subdue . . .
my corruptions,
my pride,
my evil passions,
my inordinate love to the creature.

Afflictions . . .
soften my hard heart,
bring me to my knees,
increase faith,
increase love,
increase humility,
increase self-denial.

Afflictions make me poor in spirit,
and nothing in my own eyes.

Welcome the cross!

Welcome deep adversity!

Welcome stripping Providences!

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but
now I obey Your word." Psalm 119:67

- Joseph Williams

Strength for every trial will be given

"As your days, so shall your strength be." Deut. 33:25

The Christian is frequently compared to a pilgrim,
traveling onwards through a dreary wilderness, to
the promised land of Canaan.

His experience is varied and chequered. The
path before him may be steep and arduous.
He may have to pass through . . .
rough and stony places;
dark, thick forests;
rapid streams;
raging hurricanes.

His days may be such, as to require great . . .
and energy,
and perseverance.

Oftentimes, when he strives to anticipate the future,
his heart sinks within him, his courage fails, and he is
apt to give way to despondency and doubt. But, such
a promise, "As your days, so shall your strength be,"
may well suffice to calm the believer's fears, and
reanimate his fainting spirit.

It is true, that changes and vicissitudes will come;
true, that the heart, which today is cheerful and happy,
may tomorrow be wounded and bleeding; true, that the
full cup, now held with gladness, may be dashed in pieces,
before the lips have tasted the refreshing draught; true,
that the bright hope, which, like a guiding star, allures
the traveler onwards, may speedily be enwrapped in
pitchy gloom.

But to the child of God, there is a supply of strength
to meet the hour of trial.
He is not permitted to escape
from the burden, the cross, the difficulty. But he is
enabled to make his way through them all; to struggle
with, and finally to overcome them.

Many a time, when the believer has been well near
crushed under the oppressive weight; when, conscious
that ordinary strength would not avail, he has cried
unto the Lord, and a fresh supply of grace has been
given to meet the emergency; so that he could say
with David, "I waited patiently for the Lord to help
me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted
me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the
mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied
me as I walked along." Psalm 40:1-2

It would be easy for God, to make the path heavenward,
plain and unobstructed to His children; easy, to remove
all care, anxiety, and sorrow. But such is not His purpose.

Earth is the training school for Heaven. God wills that
His children should be tried; that their spiritual natures
should be refined and purified in the furnace of affliction.
And that thus, by the very struggles and pains of their
earthly pilgrimage, they should become more and more
fit for serving Him in this world; and more and more fit
for the inheritance of the saints in light.

The Christian, by each difficulty he is called on to
encounter; by each trial he is summoned to bear;
by each virtue he is required to call into exercise;
becomes more vigorous, earnest, faithful, and
Christlike. His soul is gradually training and
strengthening by duty, trial, and endurance here;
for glory, honor, and immortality hereafter.

Every fresh victory . . .
over pride,
over vanity,
over avarice,
over selfishness,
over fretfulness,
makes us stronger for the time to come, and
insures the fulfillment of the promise, "As your
days, so shall your strength be."

Christian! mark again these words. They do not
give the pledge, that we shall not feel the burden
and heat of the day. All they promise is, that we
shall get safely through. They do not say that we
shall not feel the weight of our duties, trials,
temptations, conflicts. All they say is, that we
shall have strength to bear their weight, and
journey on with our load.

The grace imparted, will then be "sufficient" for
us; sufficient for our actual necessities; sufficient
strength equal to our day.

Strength to encounter the tempest will
be given when the tempest rages.

Strength to breast the foaming surges will be
given when the hurricane has actually come.

Strength to grapple with the last enemy will
be given when he comes forth to meet you.

Yes, Christian! be assured, grace and strength
will be imparted when you need them, as certainly
as they will be withheld before you need them.

He who guides you, knows your necessities, and,
in the day of trouble, will not leave you comfortless.

Journey on, then, with firmness, relying on His
promise. Your day is coming. You will, before long,
enter into your final rest, and repose from all your
labors. You will take possession of the promised
inheritance, and will then acknowledge with a grateful
heart, "As my days, so my strength has been."

John MacDuff, Words of Comfort to the Christian Pilgrim

Helps the Christian to endure the trials of his path

Nothing so much helps the Christian to endure the trials of his path as the habit of seeing God in everything. There is no circumstance, be it ever so trivial or ever so commonplace, which may not be regarded as a messenger from God, if only the ear be circumcised to hear, and the mind spiritual to understand the message. If we lose sight of this valuable truth, life, in many instances at least, will be but a dull monotony, presenting nothing beyond the most ordinary circumstances. On the other hand, if we could but remember, as we start each day on our course, that the hand of our Father can be traced in every scene—if we could see in the smallest, as well as in the most weighty circumstances, traces of the divine presence—how full of deep interest would each day's history be found!

- C. H. Mackintosh, God in Everything

No secular and Sacred

A spiritually vigorous saint never believes that his circumstances simply happen at random, nor does he ever think of his life as being divided into the secular and the sacred. He sees every situation in which he finds himself as the means of obtaining a greater knowledge of Jesus Christ, and he has an attitude of unrestrained abandon and total surrender about him.

- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (from July 11th reading)

Labor to grow better

Labor to grow better under all your afflictions, lest your afflictions grow worse, lest
God mingle them with more darkness, bitterness and terror.

John Owen

How much some of us owe to a bed of sickness!

How much some of us owe to a bed of sickness! I do not desire for any unconverted person here that he should be ill, but if that would be the way to make him think, repent, and believe, I could earnestly pray for it. I believe the Lord has often preached to men in hospitals who never heard him in churches or chapels; fever and cholera have been heard by those whom ministers could not reach. If we could banish pain and sickness from the world, it may be we should be robbing righteousness of two of her most impressive evangelists. What Jonah was to Nineveh, sickness has been to many a man. Like Elijah also, it has cried in the soul, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” Disease has been a grim orator for God, and with an eloquence not to be resisted, it has made the hearts of men to bow before its message. If there are any here who have lately been thus afflicted, I would ask them whether God has blessed it to their souls. I earnestly pray that they may not be hardened by it, for in that case there is fear that God will say, “Why should ye be smitten any more, ye will revolt more and more!” and he may add, “I will let them alone, they are given unto idols. I have smitten them till their whole head is sick, and their whole heart is faint. I have made them to be so near death’s door, that from the crown of the head even to the foot they are all wounds and bruises through the chastenings of my rod. I will give them up, and no more will I deal with them in a way of grace.” Great God have pity still, and make thy chastisements effectual to their souls. Now, note well that we do not assert that all persons who are saved are awakened by sickness; far from it, all that we are now taught is that many are so aroused, and that such was the case in the instance described by Elihu.

- C. H. Spurgeon, Old Fashioned Conversion

He takes away all the props

 God wants to teach us to look to Jesus alone. That is why he takes away all the props in our life; only then will we learn to fetch all we need from Jesus Christ alone.

- Joel Beeke, Walking as He Walked

That hand can never smite you

"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." John 3:16

Reader, if God has given you His only begotten Son, beware of doubting His kindness and love, in any painful providence of your daily life! Never allow yourself to think hard thoughts of God. Never suppose that He can give you anything which is not really for your good. Remember the words of Paul: "He who spared not His own Son—but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things" (Romans 8:32)

See in every sorrow and trouble of your earthly pilgrimage—the hand of Him who gave Christ to die for your sins! That hand can never smite you—except in love! He who gave His only begotten Son for you, will never withhold anything from you which is really for your good. Lean back on this thought and be content. Say to yourself in the darkest hour of trial, "This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well."

J. C. Ryle, Do You Believe?

 A Little Gracious Starvation

"And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him." Luke 15:16

He (the prodigal son) gave to them: he spent all his money with them. He was a fine fellow then, so they said. But now, no man gave to him. And what a mercy it was, for if they had given him all he wanted, he would not have gone back to his father. There is nothing like a little gracious starvation to fetch a man home to Christ. And it is a blessed providence, and a blessed work of the Spirit of God when a man, at last, is starved till he must go home to God.

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Exposition on the Prodigal Son

God has chosen me

"I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction" (Isa. 48:10)

Does not the Word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yes, is it not an asbestos armor, against which the heat has no power? Let the affliction come--God has chosen me. Poverty, thou mayest stride in at my door; but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayest intrude; but I have a balsam ready--God has chosen me. Whatever befall me in this vale of tears, I know that He has chosen me.

Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with thee. In all thy fiery trials, His presence is both thy comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own. "Fear not, for I am with thee," is His sure word of promise to His chosen ones in "the furnace of affliction."

- C. H. Spurgeon, Streams in the Desert, July 9

Why am I afflicted?

The effect (of affliction) has been to recall me from my wanderings, and to turn me to paths of duty and holiness. This is an effect often — very often — experienced; this is language which can be used by many a child of God. Of those who are the children of God it may be said that they are “always” benefited “sooner” or “later” by afflictions. It may not be at the time of the affliction, but the “ultimate” effect is in all cases to benefit them. Some error is corrected; some evil habit changed; some mode of life not consistent with religion is forsaken; pride is humbled; the heart is quickened in duty; habits of prayer are resumed or formed; the affections are fixed on a better world; the soul is made more gentle, calm, humble, spiritual, pure.

Afflictions are among the most precious means of grace. They are entirely under the direction of God. They may be endlessly varied, and adapted to the case of every individual. God knows every heart, and the best way to reach any heart. By sickness; by disappointment; by loss of property; by bereavement; by blighted hopes; by the ingratitude of others; by the unkindness of professed friends, and the malice of enemies; by domestic troubles; by the misconduct of children — perhaps the most severe of all human ills, and the hardest to bear; in ten thousand ways God can reach the heart, and break and crush it, and make it ready for the entrance of truth — as the farmer breaks and pulverizes the soil by the plow and the harrow, so that it shall be prepared to receive the seed.

Among those things for which good men have most occasion for thankfulness are afflictions; and when we lie down on the bed of death, and look over life and the divine dealings with us through life, as the glories of heaven are about to open upon us, we shall feel that among the chiefest mercies of God are those dealings of his holy hand, trying at the time, which kept us from going astray, or which recalled us when we had wandered from him — and “that in our life, now closing, there has not been one trial too much.”

- Albert Barnes, 1872-1951, Barnes Notes


This was not the pleasant life which they dreamed of on their wedding day...

Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward. - Job 5:7
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. - John 16:33

There are many crucial lessons which Christians cannot learn in the sunshine of prosperity. So the great Teacher calls us apart and shuts the doors, to keep out the light and exclude the world's noises--and then He teaches us the songs . . .
of peace,
of joy,
of trust,
of love.
Thus the painful things of life have their place in the divine training of our lives.

Many of the things our Master calls us to do or to endure, do not seem to our eyes at the time, to be the best things. Much of our life is disappointment. Sorrow comes ofttimes with . . .
its hot tears,
its emptyings of the heart,
its pain,
its bitterness.

We do not know when we set out on any bright, sunny path--into what sorrowful experiences we shall be led. A noble young man married a sweet, beautiful girl. They were very happy. Life began for them in a garden of roses. Only three bright years had passed, however, when the young wife broke down in health. Then she became an invalid, much of the time unable to leave her room. The burden has been a very heavy one for the husband, requiring continual self-denial and sacrifice, besides the grief and anxiety it has brought.

This was not the pleasant life which they dreamed of on their wedding day! They thought only of gladness and prosperity. It never occurred to them that adversity or any trouble could break into their sweet paradise.

But the Master has made no mistake. To those who have watched their lives and noted the fruit of the suffering in them, it is becoming apparent that divine love and kindness are written in all the painful lines of the long story. The young man has been growing all the years . . .
in strength,
in gentleness,
in purity of spirit,
in self-control,
in the peace of God,
in all manly virtues.
It seemed a strange place to make him cast his nets--into the deep waters of affliction and disappointment--but he is now drawing them full of rich and noble blessings.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28

J. R. Miller, 1840-1912, The Glory of the Commonplace




Home | Topical Index | Authors | Site Map | Search

"I am the light of the world" John 8:12