But a flea-bite!
(Thomas Brooks, "The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod" or, "The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes" 1659)
"I am the man who has seen affliction!" Lamentations 3:1
Christian! Your present afflictions are not great — if compared with the afflictions and torments of many of the damned, who when they were it this world, never sinned at so high a rate as you have done! There are many now in Hell, who never sinned against such clear light as you have done, nor against such special love as you have done, nor against such precious mercies as you have done! Certainly there are many now a-roaring in everlasting burnings — who never sinned as you have done!
What are your present afflictions and troubles — compared to the torments of the damned, whose torments are . . .
They have . . .
weeping served for the first course, and
gnashing of teeth for the second course, and
the gnawing worm for the third course, and
intolerable pain for the fourth course!
Yet the pain of the body is least part of their pain. The very soul of sorrow and pain — is the soul's sorrow and pain! The everlasting alienation and separation from God is served for the fifth course!
Ah, Christian! how can you seriously think on these things and not lay your hand upon your mouth — even when you are under the greatest temporal sufferings? Your sins have been far greater than many of those who are now in Hell, and your great afflictions are but a flea-bite compared to theirs! Therefore hush your murmuring, and be silent before the Lord! "I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for You are the one who has done this!" Psalm 39:9
Such is the splendor, the brightness, the glory, the happiness, and blessedness that are reserved for the saints in Heaven, that had I all the tongues of men on earth and all the excellencies of the angels in Heaven — yet I would not be able to conceive nor to express that vision of glory to you! That glory is inconceivable and inexpressible! It is best to be hastening there, that we may feel and enjoy that which we shall never be able to declare!
All the troubles, afflictions, and sorrows of this life, in comparison with eternal happiness and blessedness — are to be considered as nothing. They are but as a speck of sand — compared to the fathomless glories of Heaven!
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us!" Romans 8:18
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all!" 2 Corinthians 4:17-18