(Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity,
or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

"We know that all things work together for good,
to those who love God, to those who are called
according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

All the afflictions, and
all the temptations, and
all the oppressions, and
all the oppositions, and
all the persecutions--
which befall a godly man,
shall work for his good.

Every cross, and
every loss, and
every disease--
which befall the holy man,
shall work for his good.

Every device,
every snare,
every deceit,
every stratagem,
and every enterprise of Satan against
the holy man, shall work for his good.

They shall all help to make him . . .
more humble,
more holy,
more heavenly,
more spiritual,
more faithful,
more fruitful,
more watchful.

Every prosperity and every adversity;
every storm and every calm;
every bitter and every sweet;
every cross and every comfort--
shall work for the holy man's good.

When God gives a mercy--
that shall work for his good.
When God takes away a mercy--
that shall work for his good.

Yes, even all the falls and all the sins of
the saints shall work for their good. Oh . . .
the care,
the fear,
the watchfulness,
the tenderness,
the zeal--
which God raises in the souls of His saints by their
very falls! Oh the hatred, the indignation, and the
detestation--which God raises in the hearts of His
children against sin--by their very falling into sin!

Oh what love to Christ,
what thankfulness for Christ,
what admiration of Christ,
what cleaving to Christ,
what exalting of Christ,
what drawings from Christ's grace--
are saints led to, by their very falls!

It is the glory of God's holiness, that . . .
He can turn spiritual diseases--into holy remedies!
He can turn soul poisons--into heavenly cordials!
He can prevent sin by sin, and cure falling by falling!

O Christian! What though friends and relations frown upon you,
what though enemies are plotting and conspiring against you,
what though needs, like armed men, are breaking in upon you,
what though men rage, and devils roar against you,
what though sickness is devastating your family,
what though death stands every day at your elbow--
yet there is no reason for you to fear nor faint, because
all these things shall work for your good! Yes, there is
wonderful cause of joy and rejoicing in all the afflictions
and tribulations which come upon you--considering that
they shall all work for your good.

O Christians! I am afraid, I am afraid--that you do not
run so often as you should--to the breasts of this promise,
nor draw that sweetness and comfort from it, that it would
yield, and that your several cases may require. "We know
that all things work together for good, to those who love
God, to those who are called according to His purpose." I
have been the longer upon this verse, because the condition
of God's people calls for the strongest cordials, and the
choicest and the sweetest comforts.

*From Grace Gems