To the believer affliction is beneficial A. Our affiiction can be an opportunity for extending God’s grace to others. If we bear our affliction patiently and courageously, we are a demonstration of what God can do for a person. We are a recommendation of the Gospel to other people. The salvation that Christ gained through His affiiction can be offered to others through our affiiction. This, in itself, would make affiiction worthwhile. B. Our affiiction can be borne to the glory of God. In the manner that we endure our affiictions we can be a credit and a tribute to the One who sustains us. Furthermore, by gaining others through our witness in affiiction we can add to the praise and thanksgiving which reach God’s heavenly throne. C. Through affiiction we ourselves can be renewed spiritually (vv. 16,17). Affiiction makes us strongly aware of our need for God and for His help. It can lead us to turn to God more earnestly and to accept His blessing more eagerly. Instead of destroying us affiiction can actually improve and strengthen us spiritually. Concl.: Affiiction is a hammer, and it strikes heavy blows. However, it is not in the hands of a maniac. Us who believe, affiiction is not able to hurt and to kilL By faith we know that affiiction is a hammer in the hands of a great craftsman and artist. When the blows fall they are designed to build and to beautify. This is not always clearly apparent. Often the dust and smoke and sparks of the pounding obscure the good purpose of it all. To find reassurance in this situation we need only look to our crucified and risen Christ and to the glory which followed His affiiction. The same glory will be ours.
So wrote Milton Rudnick. Professor Rudnick visited me in North Dakota when I was in charge of one of the churches mission development emphasis. North Dakota was giving a tremendous amount of gifts and folks wanted to know why. He came up and went to some visits with me and we became friends. He seemed to think there was some magical process to making a donor visit. I told him that folks in North Dakota are mission minded and although when congregations need parking lots and roofs and new hymnals the needs are always met, they also like to give to things that are for our brothers and sisters that they will never meet who struggle around the world. They want to help spread the Gospel and not keep it to themselves.
He was the author of several books and became the President of the Lutheran Church Canada Seminary in Ontario