Ben Haden is the former pastor of the Chattanooga, Tennessee (USA) First Presbyterian Church. In his sermon titled Affliction, he made several assertions from the Bible which were quite surprising. He said:
“Everytime you and I see affliction, we ask the same question: ‘Why!?’ … When you clear away the cob webs, all the rationalization, all the smoke screen of our thinking, the most difficult thing to stand is affliction at the hands of the Lord … We are unwilling to leave the unfolding and the explanations and the terms of affliction in the hands of the Lord.”
“The most awesome thing of all is that the Lord, in His own Word, and with complete frankness, takes total blame for all affliction. We would rather turn to heredity or mishap or circumstances. We would prefer to lay threats or terror at man’s door rather than at God’s door. And yet God, in His own Word says:”
“‘Who maketh the dumb, dumb? Who maketh the blind, blind? Who maketh the deaf, deaf? Who maketh the afflicted, afflicted? Is it not I, the Lord?'”
“… How high do you rise when you’re beyond being leveled by the Lord?”
“How smart are you when you’re beyond having your mentality collapsed?”
“How safe and secure are you when you’re beyond being destroyed.”
“. . .Oh, God! What is man that Thou art mindful of him? To which He replies, ‘I have made him in My own image; just a little lower than the angels. And I have come in the flesh to die and to endure his hell that he might enjoy My heaven.'”
“. . .The Psalmist says, ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous.’ (Psalm 34:19) Not the unrighteous but the righteous.”
“. . .How high do you rise when you’re beyond being leveled by the Lord? How smart are you when you are beyond having your mentality collapsed? How safe and secure are you when you’re beyond being destroyed? And how faithful are you when you’re beyond the point of doubt?”
I consider all of my past afflictions–losing half of my colon, a near fatal staph infection, prostate cancer, sleep apnea. fibromyalgia and the mental breakdowns some of them caused. And in all of them, I can see the hand of God engineering all of them to draw me closer to Himself.
And I would experience them all again, because they all worked superbly.