(Richard Sibbes, 1577-1635)
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose!" Romans 8:28
Whatever is truly good for God's children--they shall have it, for all is theirs to further them to Heaven. Therefore . . .
if poverty is good for them--they shall have it;
if disgrace is good for them--they shall have it;
if crosses are good for them--they shall have them;
if misery is good for them--they shall have it;
for God makes all things work together for the good of His redeemed people.
God takes a safe course with His children--that they may not be condemned with the world.
He permits the world to condemn them--that they may not love the world.
The world hates them--that they may not love the world.
That they may be crucified to it--the world is to be crucified to them.
Because He will not allow them to perish with the world--He sends them afflictions in and by the world. Therefore they meet with suchcrosses and abuses and wrongs in the world.
God afflicts us outwardly--that we may be more humble inwardly.
He humbles us and makes us poor--that we may be more poor in spirit.
When God designs to humble us--we should labor through grace to abase ourselves and mortify pride.
God's providence is often mysterious--yet He is just and righteous in all that He does. Therefore when any difficult thing befalls us for which we can see no reason, yet we must reverence the Lord and adore His counsels and submit to Him who is infinitely more good and wise than we.
Glory follows afflictions--as the spring follows the winter. For the winter prepares the earth for the spring--so do sanctified afflictions prepare the soul for glory.