You are the one who has done this!
(John Flavel, "The Fountain of Life" 1671)
"I remained speechless. I did not open my mouth
because You are the one who has done this!"
Look upwards, when tribulations come upon you!
Look to that sovereign Lord, who commissions and
sends them upon you. You know that troubles do
not rise out of the dust, nor spring out of the
ground, but are framed in heaven.
Troubles and afflictions are of the Lord's framing and
devising, to reduce His wandering people to Himself.
You may observe much of divine wisdom in the choice,
measure, and season of your troubles.
God acts sovereignly, in electing the instruments of
your affliction; in making them as afflictive as He
pleases; and in making them obedient both to His
call, in coming and going, when He pleases. Now,
could you in times of trouble look up to this sovereign
hand, in which your souls, bodies, and all their comforts
and mercies are--how quiet would your hearts be!
Oh, when we have to do with men, and look no higher, how
do our spirits swell and rise with revenge and impatience!
But if you once come to see that man as a rod in your
Father's hand, you will be quiet. "Be still, and know that
I am God." Consider with whom you have to do; not with
your fellow, but with your God, who can puff you to
destruction with one blast of His mouth; in whose hand
you are, as the clay in the potter's hand.
It is for lack of looking up to God in our troubles, that
we fret, murmur, and despond at the rate we do.
"It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him."
(1 Samuel 3:18)