Honor, wealth, and pleasure lose their charms

(James, "The Widow Directed to the Widow's God" 1841)

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your
 word. It was good for me to be afflicted!" Psalm 119:67,71

Afflictions tend to wean us from the world--and to fix
our affections on things above.

We are all too worldly!

We gravitate too much to earth!

Our feet stick in the mire, and we do not soar aloft on the
wings of faith and hope into the regions above, as we ought.

We are like moles--when we should be like eagles!

Hence the need, and the benefit too, of afflictions.

How differently things look, when seen from the chamber
of sickness--or the grave of a loved one! Honor, wealth,
and pleasure lose their charms
then, and present no beauty,
that we should desire them. We then seem to regard the
world as an impostor which has deceived us, and turn from
it with disgust!

The loss of a loved one, does more to prove the truth of
Solomon's description of the 'vanity of everything beneath
the sun', than all the sermons we have ever heard, and all
the volumes we have ever read!