Sunday Meditation – God’s Rod and Love

“Whatever affliction we bear shall be for our soul’s gain. God’s rod and love go together. This is a sweet and blessed lesson indeed; it quietens the heart and supports the soul under its burdens ( 2 Cor. 4:16). What we lose in our bodies we gain in our souls. What we lose in our estates we receive back in grace. Thus we can bear up and comfort ourselves in our deepest sorrows. When God takes away creature comforts, by secret impressions of love upon the heart he strengthens the soul. We become ‘more than conquerors through him who loved us’ (Rom. 8:37). God teaches us in affliction that one thing is necessary. Affliction reveals how mistaken we are about our ‘must-bes’ and necessities. In our health and liberty we think this thing must be done. We think riches and honours are necessary and we must have our estates and lay up large portions for our children. But in the day of adversity, when death looks us in the face and God causes the horror of the grave, the dread of the last judgment, and the terrors of eternity to pass before us, then we put our mouths in the dust and sigh; ‘O how I have been mistaken!  I have fed upon ashes, and my deceived heart has turned me aside.’ We can now see how the pardon of sin, an interest in Christ, a sense of God’s love, and the assurance of glory, are the only indispensables. Christ alone is the one thing necessary, and all others are but ‘maybes’ at best. All the world has is but loss and dung in comparison with the excellence of the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord. Without him the soul is undone to all eternity. They that do not learn this lesson in the school of the Word shall learn it in the school of affliction, if they belong to God.”

Thomas Case

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