Affliction frequently opens truths to us and opens us to the truth. I know not which of these two is the more difficult. Experience unlocks truths which otherwise were closed against us. Many a text is written in a secret ink which must be held to the fire of adversity to make it visible.
Affliction when Sanctified by the Holy Spirit brings much glory to God out of Christians through their experience of the Lord's faithfulness to them.
I Delight to hear an aged Christian giving his own personal testimony of the Lord's goodness; vividly upon my mind flashes an event of some 25 years ago. It is before me as if it had occurred yesterday when I saw a venerable man of 80, gray and blind with age, I heard him in simple accents simple as the language of a child tell how the Lord had led him and had dealt well with him so that no good thing had failed of all that God had promised. He spoke as though he were a prophet, his years lending force to his words.
But suppose he had never known a trial, what testimony could he have given had he been left in luxury and never endured suffering? He might have stood there dumb and have been as useful as if he had never spoken.
We must be tried or we cannot magnify the faithful God who will not leave his people.
Sermon 1090, excerpt