Suffering: An Answer to Prayer?

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Suffering: An Answer to Prayer?

I have been reading an excellent book by the Puritan John Flavel (1630-1691), entitled Keeping the Heart. I've pasted below a little excerpt (help 6) from his list of 9 helps keep your heart amidst suffering:

It would much stay the heart under adversity to consider that God, by such humbling providences, may be accomplishing that for which you have long prayed and waited. And should you be troubled at that? Say, Christian, have you not many prayers pending before God upon such accounts as these: that He would keep you from sin; that He would reveal to you the emptiness and insufficiency of the creature; that He would kill and mortify your lusts; that your heart may never find rest in any enjoyment but Christ? Why, now by such humbling and impoverisheing strokes, God may be fulfilling your desire. Would you be kept from sin? Lo, He has hedged up your way with thorns. Would you see the creature's vanity? Your affliction is a fair glass in which to discover it; for the vanity of the creature is never so effectually and sensibly discovered as in our own experience of it. Would you have your corruptions mortified? This is the way; now God away the food and fuel that maintained them. For as prosperity begat and fed them, so adversity, when sanctified, is a means to kill them. Would you have your heart rest nowhere but in the bosom of God? What better way can you imagine providence should take to accomplish your desire than by pulling from under your head that soft pillow of creature delights on which you rested before? And yet you fret at this, peevish child! How you exercise your Father's patience! If He delays in answering your prayers, you are ready to say He regards you not. If He does taht which really answers the scope and main end fo them, but no in the way you expected, you quarrel with HIm for that - as if, instead of answering, He were crossing all your hopes and aims. Is this ingenuous? Is it not enough that God is so gracious to do what you desire, but you must be so impudent to expect He should do it in the way which you prescribe?

John Flavel
Keeping the Heart
pp 33-34 

O may I live in th

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Title: Suffering: An Answer to Prayer?
Date posted: 30 Octubre '07 - 08:18
Category: book quotes, Shepherding My Heart
Wordcount: 396 words
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