5. 'OH, BUT THE AFFLICTION THAT COMES UPON ME IS AN AFFLICTION WHICH I NEVER LOOKED FOR.

I never thought I would meet with such an affliction, and that is what I cannot bear. That is what makes my heart so disturbed because it was altogether unlooked for and unexpected.' For the answer of this:
1. It is your weakness and folly that you did not look for it and expect it. In Acts 20:22, 23, see what St. Paul says concerning himself, 'And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there, save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.' It is true, he says, I do not know the particular affliction that may befall me, but this I know, that the Spirit of God witnesses that bonds and afflictions shall abide me everywhere. I look for nothing else but bonds and afflictions wheresoever I go. So a Christian should do: he should look for afflictions wheresoever he is, in all conditions he should look to meet with afflictions; and therefore if any affliction should befall him, though indeed he could not foresee the particular evil, yet he should think, This is no more than I looked for in general. Therefore no affliction should come unexpectedly to a Christian.

2. A second answer I would give is this: Is it unexpected? Then the less provision you made for it before it came, the more careful should you be to sanctify God's name in it, now it is come. It is in this case of afflictions as in mercies: many times mercy comes unexpected, and that might be a third answer to you. Set one against the other. I have many mercies that I never looked for, as well as afflictions that I never looked for, as well as afflictions that I never looked for; why should not the one rejoice me as much as the other disturbs me? As it is in mercies, when they come unexpected, the less preparation there was in me for receiving mercy, the more need I have to be careful now to give God the glory of the mercy, and to sanctify God's name in the enjoyment of the mercy. Oh, so it should be with us now: we have had mercies this summer that we never expected, and therefore we were not prepared for them; now we should be so much the more careful to give God the glory of them. So when afflictions come that we did not expect, when it seems we did not lay in for them beforehand, we had need be the more careful to sanctify God's name in them. We should have spent some pains before, to prepare for afflictions and we did not; then take so much the more pains to sanctify God in this affliction now.