'The chief pang of most trials is not so much the actual suffering itself, as our own spirit of resistance to it.' (J. N. Grou).
HUMBLE RESIGNATION TO THE WILL OF GOD.
'Make up your mind to the prospect of sustaining a certain measure of pain and trouble in your passage through life. By the blessing of God this will prepare you for it; it will make you thoughtful and resigned without interfering with your cheerfulness. (J. H. Newman).
'Let him, with a cheerful and thankful spirit, yield himself up to suffer whatever God shall appoint to him, and to fulfil, according to His power, by the grace of God, all His Holy Will to the utmost that he can discern it, and never complain of his distresses but to God alone with entire and humble resignation, praying that he may be strong to endure all his sufferings according to the Will of God.' (J. Tauler).
'Afflictions can save the spirit of man, even the arrogant and irrational, bringing them low so that they gain understanding.' (R. Thomas).
"So, then, also let those who are suffering in harmony with the Will of God keep on commending their souls to a faithful Creator while they are doing good." (1 Peter 4:19).
SUFFERING FOR DOING RIGHT.
'We cannot always be doing a great work, but we can always be doing something that belongs to our condition. To be silent, to suffer, to pray when we cannot act, is acceptable to God. A disappointment, a contradiction, a harsh word, an annoyance, a wrong received and endured as in His presence, is worth more than a long prayer; and we do not lose time if we bear its loss with gentleness and patience, provided the loss was inevitable, and was not caused by our own fault.' (Fénelon).
"For it is a fine thing if a man endure the pain of undeserved suffering because God is in His thoughts. What credit is there in fortitude when you have done wrong and are beaten for it? But when you have behaved well and suffer for it, your fortitude (1) is a fine thing in the sight of God. To that you were called, because Christ suffered on your behalf, and thereby left you an example; it is for you to follow in his steps." (1 Peter 2:19-21 NEB).
"But if anyone suffers as a Christian, he should feel it no disgrace, but confess that name to the honour of God." (1 Peter 4:16 NEB).
"So never be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord... but take your share of suffering for the sake of the Gospel, in the strength that comes from God." (2 Tim 1:8 NEB).
GOD HELPS US IN PROPORTION TO OUR SUFFERINGS.
'The Lord beholds your sufferings with an eye of pity; and is able, not only to uphold you under them, but also to do you good by them. Therefore, do not grieve at your lot, do not be discontented, or look out at the hardness of your condition; but, when the storm and matters of vexation are sharp, look up to Him who can give meekness and patience, can lift up your head over all, and cause your life to grow, and be a gainer by all. If the Lord God helps you in proportion to your condition of affliction and distress, you will have no cause to complain, but to bless His Name.' (I. Penington).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those in any sort of tribulation through the comfort with which we ourselves are being comforted by God. For just as the sufferings for the Christ abound in us, so the comfort we get also abounds through the Christ." (2 Cor 1:3-5).
"Consequently I reckon that the sufferings of the present season do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory that is going to be revealed in us." (Rom 8:18).
THE REWARD OUTWEIGHS OUR PRESENT SUFFERINGS.
"Hard-pressed on every side, we are never hemmed in; bewildered, we are never at our wits end; hunted, we are never abandoned to our fate; struck down, we are not left to die... No wonder we do not lose heart! Though our outward humanity is in decay, yet day by day we are inwardly renewed. Our troubles are slight and short-lived; and their outcome an eternal glory which outweighs them far." (From 2 Cor 4:8,9 & 16,17 NEB).
"'With this before us we labour and
footnote), because we have set our hope on the Living God, who is the
Saviour of all men'
"Awake! be on the alert! Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, prowls around looking for someone to devour. Stand up to him, firm in faith, and remember that your brother Christians are going through the same kinds of suffering while they are in the world. And the God of all grace, who called you into his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself, after your brief suffering, restore, establish, and strengthen you on a firm foundation." (1 Peter 5:8-10 NEB).