Archive | Suffering RSS feed for this section

Charles Spurgeon – Why Your Present Condition?

26 Feb

20120713-214637.jpg

Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, God would have put you there. You are put by him in the most suitable place, and if you had had the picking of your lot half-an-hour afterwards, you would have come back and said, “Lord, choose for me, for I have not chosen the best after all.” You have heard, perhaps, the old fable in Aesop, of the men that complained to Jupiter, of their burdens, and the god in anger bade them every one get rid of his burden, and take the one he would like best. They all came and proposed to do so. There was a man who had a lame leg, and he thought he could do better if he had a blind eye; the man who had a blind eye thought he could do better if he had to bear poverty and not blindness, while the man who was poor thought poverty the worst of ills; he would not mind taking the sickness of the rich man if he could but have his riches. So they all made a change. But the fable saith that within an hour they were all back again, asking that they might have their own burdens, they found the original burden so much lighter than the one that was taken by their own selection. So would you find it. Then be content; you cannot better your lot. Take up your cross; you could not have a better trial than you have got; it is the best for you; it sifts you the most; it will do you the most good, and prove the most effective means of making you perfect in every good word and work to the glory of God.


~Charles Spurgeon~




The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, vol. 6 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1860), 274–275. Vol. 6, Sermon No. 320; Titled: Contentment; Delivered on Sabbath Evening, March 25th, 1860.

Books by Charles Spurgeon

Kindle Books

Biography of Charles Spurgeon

Other Spurgeon Quotes

John Newton – Why Weakness?

24 Feb

The Lord permits us to feel our weakness, that we may be sensible of it; for though we are ready in words to confess that we are weak, we do not so properly know it, till that secret, though unallowed, dependence we have upon some strength in ourselves is brought to the trial, and fails us. To be humble, and, like a little child, afraid of taking a step alone, and so conscious of snares and dangers around us, as to cry to him continually to hold us up that we may be safe, is the sure, the infallible, the only secret of walking closely with him.

~John Newton~





John Newton, Richard Cecil, The Works of the John Newton, vol. 1: Two Letters to Mrs. F**** (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 693.

Books by John Newton

Kindle Books

Other Newton Quotes

John Newton – Our Great High Priest

6 Feb

It is a comfortable consideration, that he with whom we have to do, our great High Priest, who once put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself, and now for ever appears in the presence of God for us, is not only possessed of sovereign authority and infinite power, but wears our very nature, and feels and exercises in the highest degree those tendernesses and commiserations, which I conceive are essential to humanity in its perfect state. The whole history of his wonderful life is full of inimitable instances of this kind. His bowels were moved before his arm was exerted: he condescended to mingle tears with mourners, and wept over distresses which he intended to relieve. He is still the same in his exalted state; compassions dwell within his heart. In a way inconceivable to us, but consistent with his supreme dignity and perfection of happiness and glory, he still feels for his people. When Saul persecuted the members upon earth, the Head complained from heaven; and sooner shall the most tender mother sit insensible and inattentive to the cries and wants of her infant, than the Lord Jesus be an unconcerned spectator of his suffering children. No, with the eye, and the ear, and the heart of a friend, he attends to their sorrows; he counts their sighs, puts their tears in his bottle; and when our spirits are overwhelmed within us, he knows our path, and adjusts the time, the measure of our trials, and every thing that is necessary for our present support and seasonable deliverance, with the same unerring wisdom and accuracy as he weighed the mountains in scales and hills in a balance, and meted out the heavens with a span. Still more, besides his benevolent, he has an experimental, sympathy. He knows our sorrows, not merely as he knows all things, but as one who has been in our situation, and who, though without sin himself, endured when upon earth inexpressibly more for us than he will ever lay upon us. He has sanctified poverty, pain, disgrace, temptation, and death, by passing through these states: and in whatever states his people are, they may by faith have fellowship with him in their sufferings, and he will by sympathy and love have fellowship and interest with them in theirs. What then shall we fear, or of what shall we complain; when all our concerns are written upon his heart, and their management, to the very hairs of our head, are under his care and providence; when he pities us more than we can do ourselves, and has engaged his almighty power to sustain and relieve us? However, as he is tender, he is wise also: he loves us, but especially with regard to our best interests. If there were not something in our hearts and our situation that required discipline and medicine, he so delights in our prosperity, that we should never be in heaviness. The innumerable comforts and mercies with which he enriches even those we call darker days, are sufficient proofs that he does not willingly grieve us: but when he sees a need-be for chastisement, he will not withhold it because he loves us; on the contrary, that is the very reason why he afflicts. He will put his silver into the fire to purify it; but he sits by the furnace as a refiner, to direct the process, and to secure the end he has in view, that we may neither suffer too much nor suffer in vain.

~John Newton~





John Newton and Richard Cecil, The Works of John Newton, Vol. 2: Letter IV to Mrs. **** (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824) p. 20-21.

Books by John Newton

Kindle Books

Other Newton Quotes

Herman Bavinck – Suffering and Self-Defense

5 Aug

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. – Matthew 5:38-42

To understand this saying correctly, one must note that Jesus does not cite the words “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” directly from the Old Testament, for in that case he would certainly have introduced it with the formula “it is written.” But he cites it in the way it had from ancient times been taught and explained in Jewish schools and opposes the false interpretation that had been given of it. And that false interpretation did not consist in the fact that people considered the law of retribution as taught in the Old Testament also applicable in private life and mutual interactions, but that publicly as well, before a judge, they made it a tool of self-interest, personal vengeance, and hatred. Jesus, opposing this abuse, offers in its place the principle of love and patience. His disciples must not resist one who is evil, that is, they must not (according to the rule “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”) return evil for evil. They must not counter an unfair demand of their neighbor with an equally unfair demand of their own. They must not attempt to avenge themselves on their neighbor with like conduct but rather seek to win him with love, patience, long-suffering, leniency, and a spirit of accommodation. In saying this, however, Christ is absolutely not condemning every instance of defending one’s own rights. For when one of the officers in the high priest’s hall of justice struck Jesus, Jesus does not turn the other cheek but defends himself, saying: “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” (John 18:22–23; also cf. Paul, Acts 22:25; 23:3; 25:10). But the rights of others as well as our own must, according to Christ, be esteemed so highly that they may not in any way be subordinated to personal vindictiveness, hatred, self-interest, to the evil tendencies of the human heart. When we fight for them, we must do so out of love for God and our neighbor. Vengeance and recompense, also according to the Old Testament, are the Lord’s own cause (Deut. 32:35).

~Herman Bavinck~




Reformed Dogmatics Volume 3: Sin and Salvation in Christ (Grand Rapids, MI; Baker Academic; 2006) p. 161-162.

Books by Herman Bavinck

Kindle Books

Biography of Herman Bavinck

More Bavinck Quotes

Matthew Henry – The Difference the Holy Spirit Makes

6 Dec

20120407-223228.jpg

Those that are full of the Holy Spirit are fit for any thing, either to act for Christ or to suffer for him. And those whom God calls out to difficult services for his name he will qualify for those services, and carry comfortably through them, by filling them with the Holy Spirit, that, as their afflictions for Christ abound, their consolation in him may yet more abound, and then none of these things move them.

~Matthew Henry~


Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software) Commentary on Acts 7:54-60

Books by Matthew Henry

Kindle Books

Other Matthew Henry Quotes at The Old Guys

Jonathan Edwards – Authentic Faith

7 Sep

True virtue never appears so lovely, as when it is most oppressed; and the divine excellency of real Christianity, is never exhibited with such advantage, as when under the greatest trials: then it is that true faith appears much more precious than gold! And upon this account is found to praise, and honour, and glory.

~Jonathan Edwards~






The Works of Jonathan Edwards Vol. 1 – The Religious Affections (Peabody, MA; Hendrickson Publishers, Inc; 2007) p. 236

Books by Jonathan Edwards

Kindle Books by Jonathan Edwards

Biography of Jonathan Edwards

Free Online Books Available

Other Edwards Quotes

John Newton – Affliction: Bringer of Blessing?

28 Jun

We are usually indebted to affliction as the means or occasion of the most signal discoveries we are favored with of the wisdom, power, and faithfulness of the Lord.

~John Newton~





The Letters of John Newton – To Mrs. Wilberforce (Edinburgh, Scotland; The Banner of Truth Trust; 2007) p. 82.

Books by John Newton

Other Newton Quotes

Charles Spurgeon – Comfort and Joy: Found

23 May

Ay, my friends, if it were not true, ye might weep. If the Bible were not the truth of God– if we could not meet together around his mercy seat, then ye might put your hands upon your loins and walk about as if ye were in travail. If ye had not something in the world beside your reason, beside the fleeting joys of earth– if ye had not something which God had given to you, some hope beyond the sky, some refuge that should be more than terrestrial, some deliverance which should be more than earthly, then ye might weep;– ah! weep your heart out at your eyes, and let your whole bodies waste away in one perpetual tear. Ye might ask the clouds to rest on your head, the rivers to roll down in streams from both your eyes, for your grief would “have need of all the watery things that nature could produce.” But, blessed be God, we have consolation, we have joy in the Holy Ghost. We find it nowhere else. We have raked the earth through, but we have discovered ne’er a jewel; we have turned this dunghill- world o’er and o’er a thousand times, and we have found nought that is precious; but here, in this Bible, here in the religion of the blessed Jesus we the sons of God, have found comfort and joy; while we can truly say, “As our afflictions abound, so our consolations also abound by Christ.”

~Charles Spurgeon~


Spurgeon’s Sermons (Spokane, Washington; Olive Tree Bible Software; 2010) eBook. Vol. 1, Sermon No. 13; Titled: Consolation Proportionate to Spiritual Sufferings; Delivered on Sabbath Morning, March 11,, 1855,.

Read More By Spurgeon

Read More About Spurgeon

Other Spurgeon Quotes

Matthew Henry – Pray, Pray, Pray!

17 May

20120407-223228.jpg

7 “ Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. – Matthew 7:7-8

I. Here is a precept in three words to the same purport, Ask, Seek, Knock (v. 7 ); that is, in one word, “Pray; pray often; pray with sincerity and seriousness; pray, and pray again; make conscience of prayer, and be constant in it; make a business of prayer, and be earnest in it. Ask, as a beggar asks alms.” Those that would be rich in grace, must betake themselves to the poor trade of begging, and they shall find it a thriving trade. “Ask; represent your wants and burthens to God, and refer yourselves to him for support and supply, according to his promise. Ask as a traveller asks the way; to pray is to enquire of God, Eze. 36: 37 . Seek, as for a thing of value that we have lost, or as the merchantman that seeks goodly pearls. Seek by prayer, Dan. 9: 3 . Knock, as he that desires to enter into the house knocks at the door.” We would be admitted to converse with God, would be taken into his love, and favour, and kingdom; sin has shut and barred the door against us; by prayer, we knock; Lord, Lord, open to us.

~Matthew Henry~


Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software) Commentary on Matthew 7:7-8

Books by Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry – Tears Wiped Away

18 Apr

20120407-223228.jpg

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “ Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:1-4

This new and blessed state will be free from all trouble and sorrow; for, 1. All the effects of former trouble shall be done away. They have been often before in tears, by reason of sin, of affliction, of the calamities of the church; but now all tears shall be wiped away; no signs, no remembrance of former sorrows shall remain, any further than to make their present felicity the greater. God himself, as their tender Father, with his own kind hand, shall wipe away the tears of his children; and they would not have been without those tears when God shall come and wipe them away. 2. All the causes of future sorrow shall be for ever removed: There shall be neither death nor pain; and therefore no sorrow nor crying; these are things incident to that state in which they were before, but now all former things have passed away.

~Matthew Henry~


Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software) Commentary on Revelation 21:4

Books by Matthew Henry