The School of Affliction


It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.

~Psalm 119:71, LSB


When trials and afflictions come, they reveal to us how weak, helpless and impotent we are.

~Martyn Lloyd Jones

One of my sugar stick sermons comes from 2 Corinthians one, WHY CHRISTIANS SUFFER? Suffering sensitizes us to the suffering of others. No one can spot a broken heart until they have had their heart broken. Suffering shrinks our self life; draws us closer to the LORD. Affliction gives us a burden to pray and it destroys our confidence in the flesh. Suffering teaches us and it molds us. It is the refiner’s fire that God used to form character. It teaches us obedience and gratitude. Martyn Lloyd Jones also has a list of characteristics that we get when we are in the school of affliction. [1] It awakens us to the fact that we are too dependent on this world and its creature comforts. [2] Affliction reminds us of the fleeting nature of life here on earth. [3] Suffering and affliction reveal our weakness and impotence. We discover that we are not as strong as we thought and that we need Christ now more than ever. [4] Afflictions draws us to Christ. When all is well, we tend to shut God out but when affliction comes we seek Him early and earnestly.

Afflictions are never pleasant. We don’t praise God for the affliction but in the midst of the affliction we can praise the LORD because He is using it to school us in His ways. On the other side of affliction, God will get glory and we will be better for having suffered. This not just the testimony of David; this is the testimony of all saint through the ages. God uses suffering to hone and shape us. I don’t like suffering, kidney stones or otherwise, but I have to admit, God has used it to shape me. Pride has always been a problem for me and I cannot think of any other way God could burn this vanity out of me other than the intense heat of suffering. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that my sanctification is complete. I am confessing that all things, including suffering, work for my good and His glory. Yes, I do look forward to graduation from the school of affliction.


It is a blessing to be a part of a Christian fellowship that is loving and affirming. I remember the old days when I had hecklers and haters in the audience. I literally agonized in my little upper room beside the baptistry. I dreaded coming down and facing the congregation. For years I preached with people praying for me to fail but God has been so kind to me in these last 20 years or so. Especially kind in the last five. I am getting old and forgetful but my congregation is aware of my shortcomings and they pray for me. If I have a COLS, they pray a little extra and God hears them. What a joy to lead those who love you. Thank You Jesus for all your blessings.

Mickey mentioned in Bible Study yesterday that Christians are being persecuted in India. When I got home I got on the computer and starting my search for more info. OPEN DOORS has a lot of info. They say that 260,000,000 Christians were severely persecuted last year. The number of Christians murdered last year was 5,621. North Korea {Communism} leads the way but there are a host of others: Nigeria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iran Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India were over 200 Christians have been brutally murdered this year with hundred of churches burned. With the exception of India and North Korea, the persecution is coming for the Muslims. Those good peace loving folks that the National Media laud. China is not Christian friendly but they have moderated their form of persecution. The apparent success of China, especially in economic terms, is appealing to many leaders around the world {including the morons is DC}. The promise of growth and prosperity, while being able to control all groups and individuals perceived as deviant, has triggered the interest of leaders from all over the world, no matter their ideological background.

We need to prayer for the persecuted…Open Doors International is a good web site to check out and VOICE OF THE MARTYRS.

Poem That Goes With The Blog

Let me not live a life that is free from the things that draw me close to Thee.

For how can I ever hope to heal the wounds of others I do not feel?

If my eyes are dry and never weep, how can I know when the hurt is deep?

If my heart is cold and never bleeds, how can I tell what my brother needs?

For when ears are deaf to our brothers plea, and we close our eyes and refuse to see,

And we harden our hearts and close our mind, and count it weakness to be kind;

We are no longer following the Master’s way, our seeking His guidance from day to day–

For without crosses and burdens to bear, we dance through life without a care,

In chasing our rainbows {dreams}, we lose our desire for the road that is narrow and the way that is higher.

So spare me no headache or even deep sorrow for it opens the door to a brighter tomorrow.

For only through tears can we recognize the suffering that lies in our brother’s eyes.

{I found this poem in one of my bibles. Don’t know who wrote it but it wasn’t me. I thought it fit the blog above}

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