It is a great folly in the children of God to question His love merely because of the greatness of their afflictions. We presently cry out, as Job, chapter 30:21, “Thou art become cruel to me; with thy strong hand thou opposeth thyself against me;” that He hath put off all fatherly affection, because we judge of the cross according to the sense of our own flesh. And therefore to question God’s love because of afflictions is folly. Rather we conclude the contrary of the two. Bastards are left to a looser disciple than sons; the bramble of the wilderness is suffered to grow and spread when the vine is cut, and pruned, and pared; the stones that are to be set in the building are most hewed and squared, others lie neglected in the quarry and are left to their own roughness. Multiplied afflictions are a sign God hath a care of you; He will not suffer you to run wild. And therefore, in defiance of the cross, learn to call God Father; look through the cloud of the present dispensation to the love of God towards you.
Thomas Manton – Sermon on Luke 23:34