Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Satisfaction in Affliction Silences The Wicked

I am currently reading "All Things For Good" by the puritan author Thomas Watson which is an exposition of Romans 8:28:

"And we know for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

In chapter 2, "The Worst Things Work For Good to the Godly," Watson says this on how afflictions work for good to the godly:

"Afflictions work for good, as they put to silence the wicked. How ready are they to asperse and calumniate the godly, that they serve God only for self-interest. Therefore God will have His people endure sufferings for religion, that He may put a padlock on the lying lips of wicked men. When the atheists of the world see that God has a people, who serve Him not for a livery, but for love, this stops their mouths. The devil accused Job of hypocrisy, that he was a mercenary man; all his religion was made up of ends of gold and silver. 'Doth Job serve God for naught? Hast not thou made a hedge about him? Etc. 'Well,' says God, 'put forth thy hand, touch his estate' (Job 1.9). The devil had no sooner received a commission, but he falls a breaking down Job's hedge; but still Job worships God (Chap. 1.20), and professes his faith in Him. 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him' (Chap. 13.15). This silenced the devil himself. How it strikes a damp into wicked men, when they see that the godly will keep close to God in a suffering condition, and that, when they lose all, they will hold fast their integrity."

I took away a few amazing things from this spectacular paragraph:

1. Affliction is good because it gives us the opportunity to prove that our love for God is not based on possession or earthly well-being.
2. Affliction is good because it confounds and confuses the wicked who don't understand the nature of true, godly love. The wicked think that all things must be done with a motivation of personal gain and are amazed when the saints rejoice in affliction and "loss" when they are seemingly gaining nothing.
3.Affliction is good because it gives great opportunity for great glory to God who upholds and gives joy to the righteous in affliction and proves His great and all-surpassing worth.