God takes no delight to afflict His children.  It goes against the grain of His heart.  It grieves Him to be grievous to them.  It pains Him to punish them, and it is like death to Him to strike them.  He has no inclination or disposition to the work of afflicting His people and He calls it His “strange work” (Isaiah 28.21).  Mercy and punishment flow from Him as the honey and sting of a bee.  The bee yields honey from her own nature but stings only when provoked.  God delights in mercy (Micah 7.18) and takes no pleasure in giving His people up to adversity (Hosea 11.8).  Mercy and kindness flow from Him freely and naturally.  He is never severe or harsh.  He never stings or terrifies except when He is sadly provoked.  God’s hand may lie very hard upon His people when His heart is yearning towards them (Jeremiah 31.18-20).  No man can tell how the heart of God stands, by His actions. – Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)

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