Sunday Meditation – Sanctifying Afflictions

“Affliction removes the beauty, allurements, and comfort of all created good things that often tempt us to commit folly and lewdness with them; that is, to embrace and cleave to them inordinately. God designs affliction to wither all the flowerings of this world in the minds of men; to reveal their emptiness, vanity, and insufficiency to give relief. Affliction intercepts the delights that are apt to emerge between the world and our affections and by which our minds are polluted. Our minds and affections can be polluted both by sinful objects and by objects which we love too much. . . . Through afflictions God draws forth all the faces of the Holy Spirit unto a constant, diligent, and vigorous exercise, to cleanse the soul from the pollution of sin. Times of affliction, however, are times when we need special grace for comfort and relief, that we may be supported under our sufferings. There is no other way to sanctify and use afflictions but by the assiduous exercise of grace. This God calls for and designs; and without it afflictions have no other end but to make men miserable; for they will either find no deliverance or they will be brought into further misery and ruin.”

John Owen

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