Jon Cardwell, on his blog Justification by Grace, shares an excerpt from his book, “Dying Sayings.” The book, which can be purchased here, also includes “Prison Meditations,” “Mr. Bunyans’ Last Sermon,” and “Mr. Bunyan’s Martyrdom.”
“Nothing can make affliction as intolerable as the weight of sin: therefore, if you would have yourself prepared for afflictions, be sure to get the burden of your sins laid aside, and then whatever afflictions you may meet with will be very easy for you.
If you can hear this, and bear the rod of affliction which God shall give you, remember this lesson― you are beaten so that you may be better.
The Lord uses His threshing rod of tribulation to separate the chaff from the wheat. The school of the cross is the school of light; it reveals the world’s vanity, baseness, and wickedness, and lets us see more of God’s mind. Out of dark affliction comes a spiritual light.
In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God.
Had we heartily renounced the pleasures of this world, we should be very little troubled for our afflictions. That which renders an afflicted state so intolerable to many is because they are too much addicted to the pleasures of this life, and so cannot endure anything that separates them from their pleasures.”