It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. Psalm 119:71.
We must not think when we are afflicted that the anger of the Lord is upon us. God brings us into trials in order that we may be drawn near to Him. The psalmist says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). He does not desire us to be under a cloud.... He does not desire us to go in anguish of spirit. We are not to look at the thorns and the thistles in our experience. We are to go into the garden of God’s Word and pluck the lilies and roses and the fragrant pinks of His promises. Those who look upon the difficulties in their experience will talk doubt and discouragement, for they do not behold Jesus, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.
We should keep our minds upon the love, the mercy, and the graciousness of our God.... It is no sign that Jesus has ceased to love us because we experience doubts and discouragements. Affliction comes to us in the providence of God in order that we may see that Christ is our helper that in Him is love and consolation. We may receive grace whereby we may be overcomers and inherit the life that measures with the life of God. We must have such an experience that when affliction comes upon us we shall not depart from the faith....
By the hand of faith grasp the promises of God and be upon vantage ground. Then you will be where Satan cannot come near and say, “God cannot help you, because you have sinned and you cannot claim the promises.” The adversary desires to have us think that the way to life is so difficult that it will be impossible to reach the bliss of heaven. But God has placed us in circumstances where the very best of our natures may be developed and the highest faculties may be exercised. If we cultivate the good, the objectionable tendencies will not gain the supremacy, and at last we shall be accounted worthy to join the family above. If we desire to be saints above we must be saints upon the earth.