Pillar Journal

God’s promises in Christ while encountering affliction


Here are a few guidelines that the Puritans provide us with for using God’s promises in Christ while encountering affliction:

1. Choose some verses that speak of Christ’s assurance of His presence and protection in trials and meditate on them so that you will not be at a loss for support and comfort when hard times come. In this way, you will prepare your heart for trials and will not be surprised when they come.

2. Do not just assent to God’s promises in Christ; take them in hand and lean upon them, like elderly people lean on their canes. Andrew Gray says: “As you would not destroy your own souls, be much in making use and application of the promises. Are not the promises your life? Did not all the saints that went to heaven before us, go to heaven living upon the promises?”

3. Remember that Christ promises to uphold and sustain you in afflictions (Pss. 9:9; 37:4, 39–40) and also that His abundant comforts will shatter your troubles as light shatters the darkness (Ps. 112:4; Mic. 7:8–9; 2 Cor. 1:5).

4. A lively faith in God’s promises in Christ will help you exercise patience in affliction. As Gray writes: “If you would inquire of faith in the midnight of your affliction, what is its opinion of God and of your own estate, it would sweetly answer you thus: ‘Wait upon God for I shall yet praise Him. If it seems slow, wait for it; comfort and relief will surely come; it will not delay.’”

5. Go to the Lord in your affliction and say: “Lord, it is part of thy covenant to deliver me from such a cross and calamity; Thou hast said that the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; that Thou wilt afflict, but in measure, according to our strength, and for our good. O sanctify Thy hand unto me, give me faith and patience to wait upon Thee, wisdom to make a good use of this chastisement; let it purge me from my dross, and breed the quiet fruit of righteousness.”

6. Let your afflictions drive you to greater fellowship and communion with Christ. Let affliction make you seek out God’s promises, and let those promises stir up your faith. Then let your faith lead you to prayer, for in your prayer you will find Christ (Jer. 29:10–14; Mic. 7:7).

7. Plead in your prayers the hope that God’s promises offer you in affliction, not asking when you will be delivered from your trial but what your trial is meant to deliver to you. Since the Lord has sent it for your good, pray for it to be sanctified to you, to work healing in you, to be remedial in its effect, and to be a cause of rejoicing both in the midst of it and when you come to the other side of it.

Excerpt from
How Should We Consider Christ in Affliction?
By Joel Beeke

How Should We Consider Christ in Affliction? – Cultivating Biblical Godliness Series (Beeke) (90 in Stock)

MSRP: $4.00 $3.00


Hebrews 3:1 and 12:3 tell us that the most effective means for enduring affliction is to consider Christ, the fountainhead of all vital Christianity. But how, you ask, and in what ways must I consider Him?

In this booklet, Joel R. Beeke shows how our consideration of the passion, power, presence, patience and perseverance, prayers, plenitude, preciousness, promises, purposes, and plan of Christ provide strength for living through and profiting from the deepest sorrows of this world. Seek grace to live Christianly today in and through your afflictions, and you will soon discover with the apostle, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).


Table of Contents:

The Passion of Christ

The Power of Christ

The Presence of Christ

The Patience and Perseverance of Christ

The Prayers of Christ

The Plentitude of Christ

The Preciousness of Christ

The Promises of Christ

The Purposes of Christ

The Plan of Christ

Conclusion: Keep Your Eye on Christ


Series Description

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said that what the church needs to do most all is “to begin herself to live the Christian life. If she did that, men and women would be crowding into our buildings. They would say, ‘What is the secret of this?’” As Christians, one of our greatest needs is for the Spirit of God to cultivate biblical godliness in us in order to put the beauty of Christ on display through us, all to the glory of the triune God. With this goal in mind, this series of booklets treats matters vital to Christian experience at a basic level. Each booklet addresses a specific question in order to inform the mind, warm the affections, and transform the whole person by the Spirit’s grace, so that the church may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.



Joel R. Beeke is president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.



“This world is ever filled with storms and affliction. No one can pass through it without experiencing the challenges of both. But as a storm can sometimes clear a path as well as create disruption, so affliction, when sanctified by the Holy Spirit, brings blessings more precious than gold. Specifically, as Dr. Beeke powerfully demonstrates from Scripture, afflictions drive the Christian to the ultimate true balm in this world of woe, the Lord Jesus. Afflictions can thus be a means of grace, highlighting for us and reminding us of the saving sufficiency of the Lord Jesus in all our circumstances. Enormously helpful!” — Michael A. G. Haykin, chair and professor of church history and director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky