Comfort In the Midst of Trials


(James Buchanan, “Comfort in Affliction” 1837)

“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all–how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32

We have the unspeakable consolation of knowing that the same divine and compassionate Redeemer who suffered, and bled, and died on for us–has the entire management of our affairs; and that nothing can happen in the course of providence, which is not appointed by Him “Who loved us and gave Himself for us!”

In proportion to our persuasion of His love for us, should be our confidence in His government over us. And what proof of sincerity, or what pledge of love, can we desire–which is not given by His past dealings on our behalf? If He died for us on the cruel cross–then certainly He will now, when all things are put under His power, “make all things work together for our good!”

We may rest assured that the love which He manifested for us on earth, is but a pledge of the love which He still bears to us–and that He will neither forget nor forsake us, until He has accomplished the grand end of His mission, by our deliverance from all evil, and our joyful entrance into the glorious kingdom of Heaven!

Oh! how cheering to know, that amidst the joys of Heaven–Jesus has not forgotten any one of His “little flock” for whom He suffered in the garden and on the cross!


The Reason For Suffering


(James Buchanan, “Improvement of Affliction” 1840)

“In the day of prosperity be happy–but in the day of adversity CONSIDER: God has made the one as well as the other.” Ecclesiastes 7:14

In the day of adversity, you should consider the causes and occasions of suffering in general–and especially, inquire into the causes and occasions of your own affliction at the present time.

As to the general cause of all suffering–it is sin, and nothing else than sin. But for this accursed thing, there would be . . .
no affliction in the world,
no painful disease,
no abject poverty,
no hostile violence,
no death, and
no damnation.
All suffering proceeds from one general cause–namely, our inherent and actual sinfulness in the sight of God!

Sin is the root of all bitterness–and it is no wonder that its fruits are bitter. Rest assured, that God has not allowed so much suffering to prevail in the world from mere indifference to its welfare, or from any disposition to cruelty. No! “God is love”–and your happiness is dearer to Him than any other object–His own glory excepted.

All suffering is designed to mark His holy displeasure against sin, and to vindicate the honor of that Law which God, as the righteous moral Governor of the world, has prescribed for the regulation of our hearts and lives.

When viewed in this light, the sufferings which prevail to such a melancholy extent in the world–are fitted to deepen our conviction of the odious nature of sin. For when we reflect, on the one hand, on the infinite love of God, and His delight in the happiness of His creatures; and consider, on the other hand, how that, notwithstanding this love–God has permitted, nay, appointed so many evils to befall us–Oh! are we not sensible that sin, which is the cause of all suffering, must be, in His estimation, a most offensive and loathsome thing!

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