“Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us? People are accustomed to meet affliction in various ways. First same meet affliction lightly, and endeavour to laugh at it, Regardless of how severe it might be.
Same exaggerate it, lose their self-possession, and sink under it. Often people quarrel with it as with an enemy and become embittered and negative.
Many people, endure it with profound fortitude, accounting it not an evil, and resolving not to feel it.
Often times people never inquire, are ask question about what is happening in their life. The people declared “Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us?”
Note from where the affliction may come from. We must keep in mind the Lord’s dominion is supreme and universal. His operations are often indirect, and to our view it all is perplexing.
Adversity is not the less under his direction and control because it comes by the hand of God.
Some how we must understand all that God does is done in perfect wisdom, justice, and benevolence.
It much be so, even when it appears otherwise.
“Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not know.?” ( Psa. 77: 19, 20)
The mystery which beclouds our ways is itself adapted to beget in us proper feeling toward him.
The first necessity in affliction is to settle it in our hearts that “it is the Lord.”
Let us look at the cause in which it may be due. Suffering may be the result and penalty of violating the natural or moral order which God has established in the world.
It may be often traced to the transgression of the sufferer, but not always. Those who are greater sufferers than others are not necessarily greater sinners (Luke 1-5)
It may be due to the transgressions of others with whom the effects of whose conduct we necessarily have part.
It is connected with the sinfulness of the heart, and implies participation in the fallen and corrupt nature of humanity.
This is the key to both the suffering of the righteous and to many other secrets.
Human suffering point, as with the finger of God, to human sin, and should ever lead to self-examination and profound humiliation “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (II.Cor.13:5)
What may be the purpose for which it is sent? To manifest the presence and evil of sin, which would not be otherwise properly felt “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Ro.6:1,2)
Herein the fatherly love of God appears; and to those who love him punishment is transformed into chastisement and a means of blessing “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb.12:11)
The consequences of the transgression often quicken the conscience to its “exceeding sinfulness,” and leads to godly sorrow.
To restrain, and prevent future disobedience.
“Before I was afficted I went “ (Psa. 119: 67)
To educate and improve the character-by instructing the soul in spiritual truth,working in it submission and patience, disposing it to sympathy,”All things work together for good” for the perfecting of the character in conformity to “the image of the Son” (Rom. 8: 29)
To prepare for the experience of higher joy, here and hereafter, to promote the holiness and happiness of others in many ways, to bring glory to God. (John 9: 3)
What is naturally a curse has thus hidden within it a priceless blessing; which; however, is not attained without human co-operation and Divine grace.
Affliction has not in itself the power to purity, strengthen, and save. We must give of our life to the will purpose of God.
Let us look at the means by which these purpose are accomplished. Humility and penitence (Job.40:4) “I am vile”
Filial trust; entering into fellowship with Christ in his suffering, and receiving his Spirit according to his promise.
The hope of heaven, where there shall be “no more pain ” For I reckon that the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”(Rom. 8:18)