Although affliction comes not forth of the dust, neither does trouble spring out of the ground;…
It is a common thing for men to look upon pain as wholly evil. But deeper reflection shows that suffering is not thus purely evil — a thing to be utterly feared and hated. It is often an instrument employed for good.
I. SUFFERING CANNOT BE WHOLLY EVIL.
1. A life without trouble would be one of the worst things for man.
2. Nothing which is a necessity of our nature is utterly evil. Suffering is one of those things which no one can avoid in this imperfect state of existence.
3. The innocent often suffer. A great deal of pain is endured which cannot be deemed retributive, cannot be termed punishment. Look at the animal creation, and at the sorrows which men unjustly endure — the cruel wrongs of poor slaves, innocent prisoners, and oppressed peoples.
4. The most highly gifted natures are the most susceptible of pain.
5. Jesus Christ condescended to endure suffering.
II. SUFFERING ANSWERS USEFUL PURPOSES.
1. It is a motive power in the development of civilisation.
2. It is one of the great regenerative forces of society.
3. One of the most beneficent uses consists in its preventive power.
4. It is the necessary condition of sacrifice.
5. It affords scope for the exercise of the passive virtues,
6. It will make the joys of heaven more rich and sweet. Remember that all discipline benefits or injures according to the spirit in which we receive it.
(T. W. Maya, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground;