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6. Is affliction instructive?
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law. (94 P. 12.)
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept thy word. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes. (119 P. 67. 71.)
8. Are sorrow and sympathy truly beneficial?
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. (7 Ec. 2, 3.)
9. Is spiritual joy often possessed by the pious amidst worldly disappointments?
Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (3 Hab. 17, 18.)
10. Is affliction calculated to improve the Christian's graces?
We glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience, and experience hope. (5 Rom. 3, 4.)
11. How did St. Paul estimate present sorrows?
I reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.- -We know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (8 Rom. 18, 28.)
12. Does God sanctify affliction to promote the eternal happiness of his people?
Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day; for our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (II. Cor. 4. 16, 17.)
13. Why did Moses "by faith" refuse to be called the " son of Pharaoh's daughter?"
Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. (11 Heb. 25, 26.)
14. Are we warned against either despising or sinking under affliction?
My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (12 Heb. 5, 6.)
15. Is the temporary pain of affliction productive of great subsequent benefit?
No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (12 Heb. 11.)
16. Does God invite us to cast our troubles upon him?
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (55 P. 22.) 17. Do present sorrows promote future joy and improvement?
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy: he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again, with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (126 P. 5, 6.)
18. Does God in his infinite mercy judge that afflictions are necessary for us?
The Lord will not cast off for ever; but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies; for he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. (3 Lam. 31, 32, 33.)
19. Are Christian mourners blessed?
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. (5 Mt. 4.)
20. What blessing has Christ pronounced on those who are persecuted for his sake?
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven. (5 Mt. 10, 11, 12.)
21. What did Moses say of God when he blessed the children of Israel before his death?
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (33 Deut. 27.)
22. Did the Psalmist rejoice in God as his refuge in trouble?
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (46 P. 1.)
23. Are our comforts and our sorrows dependant on the sovereign will of God?
When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation or against a man only. (34 Job 29.)
24. How does Isaiah refer to the compassion of our gracious Saviour?
In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them, and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. (63 Is. 9.)
25. Did Christ suffer severely on earth?
It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief. (53 Is. 10.)
26. Was he destitute of common earthly comforts?
The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have uests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (8 Mt. 20.)
27. Did Christ repeatedly tell his disciples of his approaching sufferings and death?
Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. (20 Mt, 18, 19.)
28. How did Christ declare his submission when he endured his agony in the Garden?
Father, if thou be willing remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. (22 Lk. 42.)
The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (18 Jn. 11.)
29. How did Christ comfort the good women who followed him to Calvary?
Daughters of Jerusalem weep not for me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. (23 Lk. 28.)
30. Christ having on his cross shewed his compassion to his enemies, the dying thief, and
his mother-how did he close his life of affliction?
He said, It is finished. And he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (19 Jn. 30.)
31. Are we invited to contemplate a once suffering but now exalted Saviour?
We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (2 Heb. 9, 10.)
32. Are Christians called to be partakers of Christ's sufferings?
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (I. Pet. 4. 12. 13.)
33. How are they required to bear afflictions and persecutions?
If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf.-Let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (I. Pet. 4. 16, 19.)