preparations for suffering

preparations for suffering

John Flavel



176  pages, Banner of Truth , ISBN: 9781800400672

11.94 x 1.27 x 17.78 cm , 1 volume(s), 991

Usually dispatched within 48 hours

Reviews mostly by Dr Peter Masters

Publisher's note.

Christian Living, Puritan Paperback Specials

The apostle Paul often taught young converts to the Christian faith that ‘we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God’ (Acts 14:22). For first-century Christians suffering for Christ was an inevitable accompaniment to a life of serious discipleship.

In many parts of the world little has changed since those early days. But in the West, Christians have long enjoyed a period of unusual rest from such troubles. However, there are ominous signs that change is on the way. Suffering ‘for righteousness’ sake’ may once again mark the lives of faithful Christians in the West.

In this exposition of Paul’s words, ‘For I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus’ (Acts 21:13), John Flavel shows us how vital and excellent a thing it is to prepare ourselves for the onset of sufferings.

‘The cup of sufferings is a very bitter cup, and it is but needful that we provide somewhat to sweeten it…’ — JOHN FLAVEL


Epistle to the Reader 1
1. Wherein the text is opened and the doctrine propounded. 5
2. Shews, that although God takes no delight in afflicting his people, yet he sometimes exposeth them to great and grievous sufferings; with a brief about why, and how he calls them thereunto. 11
3. Shews that it is usual with God to premonish his people of approaching trials and sufferings; with some account of the manner how, and the reason why he so forewarns them. 21
4. Demonstrating the excellency of a prepared heart for the worst of sufferings’ and what a blessed thing it is to be ready to be bound, or to die for Christ, as Paul here was. 31
5. Evincing the necessity of a sound and real work of grace upon the heart, to fit a man for suffering for Christ. 47
6. Wherein the nature of this work of grace, in which our habitual fitness for suffering lies, is briefly opened, and an account given of the great advantage the gracious person hath for any, even the hardest work thereby. 57
7. In which the necessity of getting clear evidences of this work of grace in us, un order to our readiness for sufferings, is held forth, the nature of that evidence opened; and divers things that cloud and obscure it removed out of the way. 69
8. Discovering the necessity of an improved faith for the right management of sufferings, and directing to some special means for the improvement thereof. 79
9. Wherein the necessity and usefulness of Christian fortitude in order to sufferings is evinced, with a brief account of its nature and the means of attaining it. 89
10. Discovering the necessity of an heart mortified to all earthly and temporal enjoyments, in order to the right managing of a suffering condition; with several directions for the attaining thereof. 99
11. Wherein is opened the singular advantage that suffering saints have by their skill and insights into the rewards and mysteries of Satan’s temptations: some of those wiles of Satan opened, and rules for the avoiding of the danger briefly prescribed. 113
12. Sheweth that a choice part of our preparation and readiness for suffering consists in the improvement of our praying abilities, and keeping close with God in that heavenly and excellent duty in days of suffering; wherein also is opened the nature and means of its improvement. 123
13. Wherein is shewed the necessity of going out of ourselves, even when our habitual and actual preparations are at the greatest height; and depending as constantly and entirely upon the Spirit, who is Lord of all gracious influences, as if we had done nothing: together with the means of working the heart to such a frame. 129
14. Containing the first use of the point by way of conviction, discovering the unreadiness of multitudes of professors for suffering-work. 139
15. Containing another use of the point, by way of exhortation, persuading all the people of God, whilst the Lord respites, and graciously delays their trials, to answer the end of God therein, and prepare themselves for greater trials; where several motives are propounded to excite to the duty. 147
16. Containing the last use of the point, by way of support and comfort to poor trembling souls, who do take pains to make themselves ready for sufferings; but yet finding such strength in Satan’s temptations, and their own corruptions, fear that all their labour is in vain, and that they shall fain, and utterly apostatize when their troubles and trials come to an height. 155