In device 9 Brooks looks at how Satan makes us consider the way we are afflicted (Chastened/ disciplined) when we follow the way of Holiness, therefore, Satan urges us, walk in less troublesome ways…the ways of the world.
Do you struggle to know why life is hard, or God seems to be disciplining you?
In response, Brooks looks at why the Lord afflicts us and how they are of benefit:
1. Afflictions are a crystal glass, wherein the soul has theclearest sight of the ugly face of sin
2. Afflictions are sweet preservatives to keep the saints from sin, which is a greater evil than hell itself.
3. Afflictions are God’s furnace, by which he cleanses his people from their dross. Affliction is a fire to purge out our dross, and to make virtue shine.
4. Afflictions are medicines which heal soul diseases, better than all the remedies of physicians.
5. God’s house of correction is his school of instruction. All the stones that came about Stephen’s ears did but knock him closer to Christ, the corner-stone…Afflictions lift up the soul to more rich, clear, and full enjoyments of God…God makes afflictions to be but inlets to the soul’s more sweet and full enjoyment of his blessed self.
6. So do saints by their afflictions which befall them; they gain more experience of the power of God supporting them, of the wisdom of God directing them, of the grace of God refreshing and cheering them, and of the goodness of God quieting and quickening of them, to a greater love to holiness, and to a greater delight in holiness, and to a more vehement pursuing after holiness.
7. Afflictions serve to keep the hearts of the saints humble and tender
8. They serve to bring the saints nearer to God, and to make them more importunate and earnest in prayer with God.
9. Afflictions serve to revive and recover decayed graces; they inflame that love that is cold, and they quicken that faith that is decaying, and they put life into those hopes that are withering, and spirits into those joys and comforts that are languishing.
10. The more saints are beaten with the hammer of afflictions, the more they are made the trumpets of God’s praises, and the more are their graces revived and quickened.
Here is his conclusion:
Saints spring and thrive most internally when they are most externally afflicted... no soul (should) be so mad as to leave an afflicted way of holiness, to walk in a smooth path of wickedness.