behold, the devil shall
cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; . . . be thou faithful unto
death, and I will give thee a crown of life. . . . He that overcometh shall not be
hurt of the second death." Rev. 2:10,11.
7. What description does Paul give of the sufferings endured by some of God's people
in former ages?
"Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better
resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea,
moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn
asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in
sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was
not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the
earth." Heb. 11:35-38.
8. How many does Paul say will suffer persecution?
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
persecution." 2 Tim. 3:12.
9. Does God willingly afflict the children of men?
"For the Lord will not cast off forever: 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." Lam. 3:31-33.
10. Why, then, does God permit the chastening rod to fall?
"For they [parents] verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure;
but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness." Heb.
11. Referring to Peter's coming sore trial, for what did Christ say He had prayed?
"Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed
for thee, that thy faith fail not." Luke 22:31,32.
12. What cheering promise is made to those who endure the trials and temptations of
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall
receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him."
NOTE.-Says a Christian writer: "Our sorrows do not spring out of the ground. God
'doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.' When He permits trials and
afflictions, it is for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.' If
received in faith, the trial that seems so bitter and hard to bear will prove a blessing.
The cruel blow that blights the joys of earth will be the means of turning our eyes to
heaven. How many there are who would never have known Jesus had not sorrow led them to see
comfort in Him! The trials of life are God's workmen, to remove the impurities and
roughness from our character. Their hewing, squaring, and chiseling, and their burnishing
and polishing, is a painful process. It is hard to be pressed down to the grinding-wheel.
But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple."