What is the great end of all afflictions by Octavius Winslow?
from Octavius Winslow’s book,
“THE INNER LIFE”
What is the great end of all God’s afflictive dealings with His people? For what purpose is the Lord’s furnace in Zion, and His fire in Jerusalem? It is to purify, and sanctify, and ‘fit’ the believer for “the inheritance of the saints in light.”
All your heaven blessed trials, all your sanctified temptations, all the covenant transactions of God with you, beloved, in the way of afflictive providences, are designed but to ‘fit’ you more thoroughly for “the inheritance of the saints in light.”
All the disentwining of your affections from around creatures and created things, all the disappointments you meet with—the cisterns He breaks, and the beautiful gourds He withers; yes, all the steps of God with you, beloved, are but to detach you from earth, and earthly things; and thus the more perfectly to ‘fit’ you for “the inheritance of the saints in light.”
In this point of view, who would not welcome the severest chastisement? who would not drink willingly the bitterest cup? who would not take joyfully the spoiling of all that is dear and fond? who would not be willing to have the fetter unbound, the chain snapped, the bond severed, that gives liberty to his struggling and ascending spirit, and brings him, in a state of holy fitness, nearer and still nearer heaven?
Beloved, look upon all the Lord’s afflictive dealings with you as but preparatory to your approaching emancipation from all sin, suffering, and sorrow.
Welcome your trials—they are sent by your Father.
Welcome the stroke of His rod—it is a parent smiting.
Welcome, oh! welcome, beloved, whatever detaches you from earth, and wings your spirit heavenward.
Oh! welcome the furnace that consumes the dross and the tin, and brings out the precious gold and silver!
Oh! be submissive, meek, and quiet, under God’s chastening and afflicting hand, and receive all His dispensations as only tending to ‘fit’ you more perfectly for “the inheritance of the saints in light.”
[Taken from pages 355-356 of Grace Gems Collection 2001. It can be downloaded FREE from http://www.gracegems.org/bookstore.htm]