You should consider from whose hand it has been sent to you!
(James Buchanan, "Comfort in Affliction" 1837)
"In the day of prosperity be happy — but in the day of adversity CONSIDER: God has made the one as well as the other." Ecclesiastes 7:14
In the day of adversity, you should consider from whose hand it has been sent to you! It comes direct from the hand of God!
Intermediate agencies may have been employed in inflicting it:
a cherished family member may have been the messenger of disease;
a treacherous friend may have been the cause of bankruptcy;
an avowed enemy may have been the author of reproach and shame;
Satan himself may have been allowed to smite you! But through whatever secondary agency it may have been conveyed — adversity comes from God's hand!
"I form the light — and create darkness; I make peace — and create evil. I the Lord, do all these things." Isaiah 45:7
"Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?" Lamentations 3:38
"Shall we receive good at the hand of God — and shall we not receive evil?" Job 2:10
"Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?" Exodus 4:11
"See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides Me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of My hand!" Deuteronomy 32:39
"The LORD brings death and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up. The LORD sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and He exalts." 1 Samuel 2:6-7
"This is what the LORD says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people . . ." Jeremiah 32:42
"When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?" Amos 3:6
"For He wounds, but He also binds up; He injures, but His hands also heal." Job 5:18
From these and many other passages, it is plain that temporal affliction is ascribed to God in the Holy Scriptures. No one who acknowledges God's Providence at all, can fail to believe that the numerous afflictions and calamities of human life are permitted, appointed, and overruled by the Supreme Governor of the world!
This is a consideration of great practical importance, and should be seriously weighed in the day of adversity.
It assures us that our afflictions are neither imposed by a fatal necessity, nor produced by the uncertain vicissitudes of chance — but come forth from the hand of One who is infinitely wise and just and good!
It also teaches us in many of our afflictions, and those which it is indeed most difficult to bear — to look beyond, and to rise above, the consideration of the mere human agency by which they have been inflicted. I refer to such afflictions as are brought on us through the malice of our fellow-men, in regard to which we are too apt to alone consider the secondary agency through which they fall upon us — instead of steadily contemplating God as addressing to us, through human agency, the warnings and lessons which we need to learn and improve.
Whereas, did we consider all afflictions, of whatever kind, as emanating from the unerring heart of our loving Father — we would find, that even those which the hand or the tongue of man inflicts — are a wholesome discipline, and means of spiritual improvement.
Let us remember, then, that every affliction, through whatever channel it may flow — comes to us ultimately from God's loving hand!