Pillar Journal

The Plan of Christ

Since the best is yet to come, do not make too much of afflictions here in this world. God is using them to prepare you for a better world.

Consider the plan of Christ. Highly exalted, there is no name like His. At His name, every knee will bow (Phil. 2:10). The eternal plan lying behind all His affliction was eternal glory—not only for Himself, but also for you. He returned to His Father differently than He came. He returned with His blood-bought bride, just as He planned in His eternal covenant with His Father. His church, figuratively speaking, ascended into glory with Him, accepted by the Father in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6). Think more of God’s eternal plan for you and your eternal end in glory if you would be more submissive under affliction and learn to praise God during trials and sufferings!

Your trials and sufferings in this life are but for “ten days” (see Rev. 2:10). Your life-to-come glory is forever. The “ten days” here are preparation for the glory to come. Affliction elevates your soul to heaven (Heb. 11:10) and paves your way to glory: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17).

Your rainy days on earth are nearly over. Don’t overestimate them. Think more of your coming crown and your eternal communion with God Triune, the saints, and the angels. “He that rides to be crowned,” John Trapp wrote, “will not think much of a rainy day.” As Frances Havergal (1836–1879) wrote in her well-known hymn “Light after Darkness”:

Light after darkness,
Gain after loss.
Strength after weakness,
Crown after cross.
Sweet after bitter,
Hope after fears.
Home after wandering,
Praise after tears.
Sheaves after sowing,
Sun after rain.
Sight after mystery,
Peace after pain.
Joy after sorrow,
Calm after blast.
Rest after weariness,
Sweet rest at last.

Remember, you are only renting here; your personal home is reserved there. Expect no heaven on earth (apart from spiritual foretastes by means of sanctified affliction), but trust that one day you will be with Christ forever, dear believer, overflowing with joy. You will have a utopian marriage with Christ. You will be as holy as He is holy. You will see Him and love Him as He is, and you will be like Him (1 John 3:2). He will see no sin in you. You will no longer complain with Paul, “Evil is present with me” (Rom. 7:21).

Not only will all evil be expelled from glory but all good will be walled into glory. You will enjoy perfect communion with God, the redeemed made perfect, and the holy angels. You will not have the least disagreement with anyone. Even Luther and Calvin will agree on everything. Your thoughts, your mind, and your soul—all will be made perfect.

Since the best is yet to come, do not make too much of afflictions here in this world. God is using them to prepare you for a better world—a world that focuses entirely upon Christ. Hang on to this truth, and you will never despair. Remember, what your fear may be the worst thing that can happen to you—death itself, is actually the best thing that can happen to you because then you will be with Jesus forever—and will never have to turn your eyes away from Him again.

Excerpt From
How Should We Consider Christ in Affliction?
Joel R. Beeke

EBOOK How Should We Consider Christ in Affliction? – Cultivating Biblical Godliness Series (Beeke) – EBOOK (9993 in Stock)

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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