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Words of Comfort.
"Nevertheless Afterwards" (Heb. 12: 11).
pp. 77, 78
In the preceding three articles of this series we have seen that suffering and trial are
(1) only for a season, (2) always for a reason, and (3) however manifold, are perfectly
matched by manifold grace. Another thought which should be of comfort to the tried
and tested believer is found in Heb. 12: 11: "Nevertheless afterwards." If we go back
through this epistle, we shall find in every section a compensating "afterwards". The first
section speaks of Christ being made "a little lower than the angels for the suffering of
death", but what a blessed sequel is revealed--He Who was perfected through sufferings,
becomes the Captain of Salvation leading many sons to glory (Heb. 1:, 2:). The next
section speaks of Israel's wilderness experiences, and here again, while many failed of
the grace of God and fell in the wilderness, there was a blessed "afterwards" for those
who, like Caleb and Joshua, "wholly followed the Lord" (Heb. 3:, 6:). And so
throughout the Epistle.
Of all the examples of a blessed "afterwards" that Scripture provides, the case of Job
stands out as one of the most striking. The Divine comment here, given in James 5: 10,
11, is worthy of note:
"Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an
example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which
endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the
Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy."
If we consider the Apostle's experience as recorded in II Cor. 12:, we find that he,
too, passed through a bitter trial to realize the blessedness of God's "afterwards". His
experiences followed so closely in the footsteps of his Lord, that we can truly speak of
them, as we observe his three-fold request for deliverance, as the Apostle's Gethsemane.
"For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said
unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
Then comes the "afterwards":
"Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ
may rest upon me" (II Cor. 12: 8, 9).
It would be a profitable labour for every reader to compile a list of Scriptural
examples setting forth in various ways how blessedly true is this principle of
The life of the Lord Jesus Himself provides many illustrations. In Matt. 11: we find
Him rebuking Chorazin and Capernaum "wherein His mighty works were done, because