Ephesians 3:13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

Greg smiling

The apostle was a man with many tribulations, and great afflictions, which he did not suffer as an evildoer, either from God or men; wherefore he was not ashamed of them, but gloried in them;  he took pleasure in them, knowing  the presence of God in them. “God takes the most eminent and choicest of His servants for the choicest and most eminent afflictions. They who have received most grace from God are able to bear most afflictions from God. Affliction does not hit the saint by chance, but by direction. God does not draw His bow at a venture. Every one of His arrows goes upon a special errand and touches no breast but his against whom it is sent. It is not only the grace, but the glory of a believer when we can stand and take affliction quietly”.
–Joseph Caryl     

Paul understood the process of purification.  He understood the grace was His source of sustaining power, knowing God  grace , He could bear any affection that God allowed Him to go through. Let this be a lesson to us when we go through the fire of affections. First affections do not come upon  us by chance, but by divine direction from God. Second God does not enjoy watching us suffer, it is a cleansing process, to conform us to the image of Christ. Third it is a opportunity for us to glorify God through our affections. Our God directed affliction lets us know we are  special in His eyes, for the father disciplines those He loves. With a proper understanding we can see and also join with Paul in rejoicing in to afflictions.  And when God leads us to suffer for others, all the more to rejoice knowing those you suffer for and yourself will be blessed and God will be glorified. This opens the door for a ripple effect in the purification of the saints.

Gregory Lane