(David Harsha, "Thoughts on the Love of Christ")
"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows!" John 16:33
Affliction comes upon all.
None are exempt from the sufferings incident to our fallen nature. The young, the old, the rich and the poor, alike feel the withering touch of affliction and of sorrow. Disease invades the strongest constitution, and affliction prostrates the mightiest energy. Often those in the prime and vigor of life are laid down on the bed of sickness, and made to feel that they are dying creatures. How true it is, that "How frail is humanity! How short is life, and how full of trouble!" Job 14:1
The children of God are not exempted from the afflictions of this life; but it is their blessed consolation to know that they have a Friend to sympathize with them in all their sorrows and sufferings, while in this mortal state.
Yes, Jesus is that friend, who watches over their sick beds, and consoles their desponding spirits amid the frailty of sinking nature.
Oh! how often does the blessed Jesus wonderfully manifest his love to his afflicted ones! How often does he whisper words of peace and love and consolation in their ears! How often, in the manifestation of his love, do their souls overflow with joy, even when their bodies are racked with severe pain!
All the afflictions of the children of God are designed for their good. They come from a kind heavenly Father, from a God of love; and one of their designs is their purification and sanctification.
Afflictions make us fit for glory; they enable us to obtain a correct view of the vanity of terrestrial happiness; they tend, through grace, to fix our souls on Him, in whom alone we can find true happiness and immortal joys.
Happy sickness, that leads the soul to Jesus, the only source of blessedness! Afflictions, then, promote our spiritual welfare, and are ordered for our good.