Some great quotes from Bonar’s Night of Weeping When God’s children suffer
The fire which the Lord is to kindle in the earth, when He comes again, proves that sin is found upon it. Were there no curse lying on the earth, no purifying fire would be needed. But the blight must be burned out; the trail of the serpent must be swept away…
I do not take up the question as to particular trials being the result of particular sins in individuals. In many cases we know that this is the case. In others it is more doubtful. And hence, though it is well in affliction to ask what special sin or sins God is pointing at, it is wrong in us to fix exclusively upon one or two instead of turning our attention to the whole body of sin and directing our efforts against it.
These stones [us] must first be quarried out of the mass. This the Holy Spirit does at conversion. Then, when cut out, the hewing and squaring begin. And God uses affliction as his hammer and chisel for accomplishing this.
‘Oh,‘ said a saint of other days, ‘what I owe to the file, to the hammer, to the furnace of my Lord Jesus!’
Am I caring less for the honors of time, for man’s love, man’s smile, man’s applause?…while professing to seek the kingdom hereafter, do I refuse to undergo that tribulation through which I must enter; while willing to secure the crown of glory, do I shrink back from the crown of thorns?
How blessed when His desire to deliver us from sin, and ours to be delivered from it, meet together; when His purpose to make us holy is cordially responded to by our fervent longings to be so!
…there is nothing like affliction for teaching us this. It acts like the wind upon the trees, making them take deeper root. It is the mowing of the grass that it may shoot up thicker and greener. It is the shaking of the torch that it may blaze brighter.
For after waking up [when we are born again] there is a continual tendency to fall back into slumber.
In the day of prosperity we have many comforts, many refugees to resort to; in the day of sorrow we have only one, and that is God.