His discipline is sharp—but the end is sweet!
(Thomas Case, "The Rod and the Word, A Treatise on Afflictions" 1653)
"No chastening seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11
"Whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives." Hebrews 12:6
God will rather fetch blood—than lose one of His sons!
See and admire the wisdom, power and goodness of God—who can make His people better by their sufferings!
Behold, I show you a gospel mystery! God can . . .
extract gold, out of clay;
draw the richest wine, out of gall and wormwood;
turn the greatest misery of the body, into the greatest good of the soul;
turn the chastening itself, into a blessing;
make the withered rod of affliction, to bud into a harvest of righteousness and peace!
The almond tree is said to be made fruitful by driving nails into it, thereby letting out a noxious gum which hinders its fruitfulness. In the same way, God never intends more good to his children, than when He seems to deal most severely with them! His discipline is sharp—but the end is sweet!
O that the children of God in affliction, or entering upon sufferings—would sit down and dwell upon the fruit and advantage which God knows how to bring out of all their sorrows.
"Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty." Job 5:17
"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your Word." Psalm 119:67
"It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn Your decrees." Psalm 119:71