Spurgeon, "The Bellows Burned" #890.

Some afflictions are sent for a
trial of our graces, that God may
be glorified by our victories.

Other afflictions may be
sovereignly sent by God.

Other afflictions are intended to
promote our advance in grace.

Other afflictions may be indications of
indwelling sin. The rod in God's house is
principally used because of the offendings
of the children. I am persuaded that if
you would be spared that rod, so far as
it is a chastening rod, you can only escape
it by obedience, and by a very careful
observance of the gentle motions of your
Father's eye.

Afflictions melt us to repentance,
and cause us to let go our sins.

There are some stubborn children, who will
even rebel until they draw down blows upon
themselves, and even then hold out until
the strokes are multiplied, and the father
proceeds to repeated chastenings.

I am afraid the most of us are such
children. We cause our Father to
chasten us very frequently.