The school of suffering

(J. R. Miller, "Ministry of Comfort" 1898)

"Before I was afflicted I went astray—but
 now I keep Your word." Psalm 119:67

Most of us need the chastening of affliction.
Pain is wonderful revealer. It teaches us many
things we never could have known, if we had
not been called to endure it. It opens windows
through which we see, as we never saw before
—the beautiful things of God's love.

Many of the finest things in character, are the
fruits of pain
. Many a Christian enters trial—cold,
worldly, unspiritual—and emerges from the
experience a little later, with spirit softened,
mellowed, and spiritually enriched.

Sanctified afflictions soften the harshness and
sharpness of one's character. They consume the
dross of selfishness and worldliness. They humble
pride. They temper carnal ambitions. They quell
fierce passions. They show to us the evil of our
own heart, revealing our weaknesses, faults, and
blemishes—and making us aware of our spiritual
danger. They discipline the wayward spirit.

Sorrow draws its sharp ploughshare through the
heart, cutting deep and long furrows—and the
heavenly Sower follows with the seeds of godly
virtues. Then by and by, fruits of righteousness
spring up.

Sorrow has a tenderizing influence. It makes us
gentle and kindly toward each other. In no other
school, do our hearts learn the lessons of patience,
tolerance, and forbearance so quickly—as in the
school of suffering

"It was good for me to be afflicted—so that
 I  could learn Your statutes." Psalm 119:71