The Purpose of Affliction

Now there was a famine in the land.
GENESIS 26:1
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The Purpose of Affliction

The godly, too, are afflicted, just as Isaac endured want and famine in his time. He was a stranger and an exile, and he thought that he should bear the current misfortune calmly. But the purpose of these afflictions should be carefully noted. Although public misfortunes affect the saints and the prophets, this does not happen as a punishment or because of anger, as in the case of the godless and the ungrateful; it happens for their salvation and to test and prove their faith, love, and patience, in order that the godly may learn to bear the hand of God in the management of their households. For God has promised that He wants to support them in the time of famine, as it is written (Psalm 37:25): "I have not seen the righteous forsaken." Likewise (Psalm 37:19): "In the days of famine they have abundance." God confirms these promises with such examples of the saints, and by means of this tribulation in the household He instructs the godly in the Word, in faith, in humility of spirit, in love, and in other virtues.
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