“Do you not think that we all make mistakes as to what will be a blessing? In the matter of faith-healing, health is set before us as if it were the great thing to be desired above all other things. Is it so? I venture to say that the greatest earthly blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the exception of sickness. Sickness has frequently been of more use to the saints of God than health has. If some men, that I know of, could only be favoured with a month of rheumatism, it would, by God’s grace, mellow them marvellously. Assuredly, they need something better to preach than what they now give their people; and, possibly, they would learn it in the chamber of suffering. 1would not wish for any man along time of sickness and pain; but a twist now and then one might almost ask for him. A sick wife, a newly-made grave, poverty, slander, sinking of spirit, might teach lessons nowhere else to be learned so well. Trials drive us to the realities of religion. You may feed on chaff until you have real work to do, or real grief to bear; but then you want the old corn of the land, and you must have it, or else you will faint and fail.
Our afflictions come to us as blessings, though they frown like curses. I have heard of one who was generous, but extremely eccentric. A man, who was deeply in debt, passed his door, and he knew that the poor debtor was terribly exercised about the matter. One day, this odd man of wealth, generous as he was, was so cruel as to throw a heavy bag at the poor debtor. The man was hurt by the missile, and looked round to see what it was. He saw no man who had inflicted the injury. He picked up the bag. He heard the chink of the coin, and when he opened the bag, he found enough to pay his debt, and he heard a voice saying, “Keep it for yourself.” He never summoned that man for an assault; but thanked him for the gift. Ofttimes has Providence, with a rough hand, thrown countless gain in our way in the form of the trial of our faith, which is much more precious than gold. Blessed be the Lord, our temporary bruise is soon forgotten, but the spiritual gain abides for ever. In any case, the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ is our cause, and we are linked with Him in a fellowship which cannot be broken, whatever it may involve. We have counted the cost, and we can say, “From henceforth let no man trouble me. I am the branded slave of Jesus, and my ear is bored for Him.”
(Spurgeon, Charles. An All-Round Ministry, 384-385.)