Hebrews 3:1 and 12:3 tell us that the most effective means for enduring affliction is to consider Christ, the fountainhead of all vital Christianity. But how, you ask, and in what ways must I consider Him? In this booklet, Joel R. Beeke shows how our consideration of the passion, power, presence, patience and perseverance, prayers, plenitude, preciousness, promises, purposes, and plan of Christ provide strength for living through and profiting from the deepest sorrows of this world.
Here are a few guidelines that the Puritans provide us with for using God’s promises in Christ while encountering affliction:
- Choose some verses that speak of Christ’s assurance of His presence and protection in trials and meditate on them so that you will not be at a loss for support and comfort when hard times come. In this way, you will prepare your heart for trials and will not be surprised when they come.
- Do not just assent to God’s promises in Christ; take them in hand and lean upon them, like elderly people lean on their canes. Andrew Gray says: “As you would not destroy your own souls, be much in making use and application of the promises. Are not the promises your life? Did not all the saints that went to heaven before us, go to heaven living upon the promises?”
- Remember that Christ promises to uphold and sustain you in afflictions (Pss. 9:9; 37:4, 39–40) and also that His abundant comforts will shatter your troubles as light shatters the darkness (Ps. 112:4; Mic. 7:8–9; 2 Cor. 1:5).