8. ANOTHER REASONING THAT MURMURING HEARTS HAVE IS THIS: Why, they think that if the affliction were any other than it is, then they would be more contented.
1. You must know that we are not to choose our own rod, that God shall beat us with.

2. It may be that if it were any other than it is, it would not be so suitable for you as this is. It may be, therefore, God chooses it because it is the most contrary to you, since it is most suitable for purging out the humor that is in you. If a patient comes to take medicine and finds himself sick by it, will he say, 'Oh,! if it were any other potion I could bear it?' It may be, if it were any other than it is, it would not suit your disease; yea, if it did not work as it does, it would not suit the disease. So when you say of an affliction, if it were any other than it is, you could bear it, do but answer yourself with this: It may be, if it were any other than it is, it would not be suitable for me. It would not get right to the sinful humor in my soul, and therefore God sees this to be the fittest and the most suitable for me.

3. Know that this is the excellence of grace in a Christian, to be fitted for any condition; not only to say, if it were this or that, but if it were any.

Now if a sailor has skill he does not say, 'If it were any other wind but this, if the wind blew in any direction but this, I could manage my ship, I could show skill in other directions but not in this.' Would not sailors laugh at such a one? It would be a shame for him to say that he has skill in any other direction but this. So it should be a shame for a Christian to say that he has skill in any other affliction but this. A Christian should be able to manage his ship, if the wind blows any way; to guide his soul any way.

4. The last answer is this, Know that the Lord has rewards and crowns for all graces, and for honoring them in all conditions. It may be, in such a way as you think you could honor God, God has a crown for that; and God has another crown to set upon the heads of those who honor him in such a way as this. He has several sorts of crowns, as I may say, in Heaven, and those crowns he must put upon somebody's head, and therefore he exercises you in a variety of conditions, so that you might have the several rewards and crowns that God has to reward and crown those who are faithful in several conditions.