Teaching Times

Hebrews 5:8
       Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): Christ’s sonship did not exempt him from obedience and sufferings.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): He was a Son; the only-begotten of the Father. One would have thought this might have exempted Him from suffering, but it did not. Let none then who are the children of God by adoption expect an absolute freedom from suffering. Hebrews 12:7, What Son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): Affliction is a badge of adoption.

WILLIAM S. PLUMER (1802-1880): God loves His own children too well to exempt them from affliction.

THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): Where God loves, He afflicts in love, and wherever God afflicts in love there He will, first or last, teach such souls such lessons as shall do them good to all eternity.

WILLIAM BRIDGE (1600-1670): Suffering times are teaching times.

HANNAH MORE (1745-1833): Affliction is the school in which great virtues are acquired, in which great characters are formed.

JAMES LEGGE (1815-1897): The most precious products of experience are got in the fire of trial.

MATTHEW HENRY: Afflictions are sent for this end, to bring us to the throne of grace, to teach us to pray, and to make the Word of God’s grace precious to us.

OCTAVIUS WINSLOW (1808-1878): Affliction places the believer in a position for understanding the Scriptures which no other divine dispensation does. Luther remarks that he did not understand the Psalms until God afflicted him. How many will find in the volume of their Christian experience a page corresponding with this!

MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): No man, without trials and temptations, can attain a true understanding of the Holy Scriptures…I never knew the meaning of God’s Word, until I came into affliction. I have always found it one of my best school-masters.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714-1770): Experience is only learned in the school of tribulation.

OCTAVIUS WINSLOW: If, then, this experimental acquaintance with the Bible is the result of affliction, welcome the discipline whose rod of correction blossoms into such golden fruit.

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): The Christian is more formed from his trials than from his enjoyments…Afflictions are unavoidable; they occupy a large proportion of life, and of godliness.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD: Our Saviour, Sir, learnt obedience by the things which He suffered, so must we. Pain, if patiently endured, and sanctified to us, is a great purifier of our corrupted natures. It will teach us excellent things.

THOMAS WATSON: Affliction is God’s flail to thresh off our husks.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): Many are the afflictions of the righteous, Psalm 34:19―some internal, others external; some from friends, others from foes; some more directly at the hand of God, others more remotely by the instrumentality of the devil. Nor should this be thought strange. Such has been the lot of God’s children in greater or lesser degree. Nor ought we to expect much comfort in a world which so basely crucified the Lord of glory. The sooner the Christian makes it his daily study to pass through this world as a stranger and a pilgrim, anxious to depart and be with Christ, the better for his peace of mind. But it is natural to cling tenaciously to this life and to love the things of time and sense, and therefore most the Lord’s people have to encounter many buffetings and have many disappointments before they are brought to hold temporal things with light hand and before their silly hearts are weaned from that which satisfies not.

WILLIAM S. PLUMER: It is a blessed thing when our trials cure our earnest love for things that perish.

MATTHEW HENRY: It has always been to the advantage of God’s people to be afflicted…Many are taught with the briars and thorns of affliction that would not learn otherwise.

R. L. DABNEY (1820-1898): Let any Christian view his own life, and see how nearly his whole spiritual progress has been made in the seasons of trial. It is by their private afflictions chiefly that individuals grow in grace.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): I bear my willing testimony to the blessing that affliction and trial have been to me. I owe more to the fire and the file than I can ever describe.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): There are no lessons so useful as those learned in the school of affliction.

RICHARD CECIL (1748-1810): The blessed man is he who is under education in God’s school, where he endures chastisement, and by chastisement is instructed.

THOMAS WATSON: Learn how little cause we have then to be discontented at outward trials and emergencies! What! discontented at that which shall do us good!―All things work together for good to them that love God, Romans 8:28. Shall we be discontented at that which works for our good? If one friend should throw a bag of money at another, and in throwing it, should graze his head, he would not be troubled much, seeing by this means he had got a bag of money. So the Lord may bruise may bruise us by afflictions, but it is to enrich us. These afflictions work for us a weight of glory, and shall we be discontented?

ROBERT LEIGHTON (1611-1684): Affliction is the diamond dust that heaven polishes its jewels with.

OCTAVIUS WINSLOW: Let God’s dispensation be ever so dark, painful, and afflicting, it is utterly impossible that anything can be against the best interests of a believer in Christ.

ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): The Lord’s ways are frequently in the deep. Let us hope that the present dispensation is only designed to deepen your humility, to brighten your zeal, and enrich your experience in the divine life; and that you will be better taught to teach, by being tutored in the furnace of affliction―the better to serve in the sacred cause in which you are engaged. Pure metals shine the brighter, the harder they are rubbed. The Lord alone can prepare our hearts to receive that splendour of light, whereby we are enabled to shine forth to His glory. If sharp trials are necessary for the accomplishment of this glorious end, what a mercy from God it is, when He sends them.

WILLIAM WARD (1769-1823): We are only scholars. It rests with the Great Teacher to decide which lesson shall come next—a hard one or an easy one.


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