Take, my brothers, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
Affliction is the dark soil in which is deposited the heavenly seed, that germinates, and brings forth fruit to the glory of God. Affliction is a furnace, in whose ardent flame the Refiner of souls is consuming our human imperfections. Affliction is a rod, under whose kindly chastisement the Father of Spirits is educating us for immortality. Affliction is a baptism, from whose cleansing wave the saints of the Most High come forth fit for the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Affliction is a cup, whose bitter draught is administered by the good Physician to purify our spiritual natures. Affliction is a dark cloud, on which the God of covenant has painted the rainbow of hope, and which He has irradiated with the halo of celestial glory. Would you, then, bring forth much fruit? would you be purified of remaining imperfections? would you be trained for immortality? would you be fitted for the marriage-supper? would you be sanctified in your spiritual nature? would you be encircled in the bow of promise or adorned with the halo of glory? You must needs suffer affliction; for "it is through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom."
Parallel VersesKJV: Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.