Sweetened Affliction

…and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet – Exodus 15:25

Let me assure you, that in the case of our trouble, the cross is a most effective sweetener. Shall I put the tree into the water for a minute, and then ask you to drink? Have you been suffering pain, or any other form of tribulation? I will lay the cross asoak in it for a minute, and your first reflection will be-“In all this that I am called to suffer there is not even a single particle of punishment for my sin; God has punished Christ, consequently He cannot punish me: to punish two for one offense would be unjust, therefore there is nothing penal in all that I am suffering.” I do not know of any reflection more consoling than this, that my sorrow is not laid on me by a judge, nor inflicted on me as the result of divine anger. There is not a drop of wrath in a riverful of a believer’s grief. Does not that take the bitterness out of affliction and make it sweet? And then the reflection goes further. Since Christ has died for me, I am God’s dear child; and now if I suffer, all my suffering comes from my Father’s hand-nay, more, from my Father’s heart. He loves me, and therefore makes me suffer; not because He does not love, but because He does love does He thus afflict me. In every stripe I see another token of paternal love… You shall not have one half a drop of grief more than is absolutely needful for your good and God’s glory. And does not this also sweeten the cross, that it is laid on us by infinite wisdom, and by a Father’s hand? This it is to sweeten Marah’s waters indeed.~ C.H. Spurgeon




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