“The kinds of trials God exercises us with:
First. He seems to turn a deaf ear.
Second. He lays difficulties in our way. 1) Things contrary to our sinful inclinations 2) We are tried by sufferings, by things not only contrary to corruption, but hard to human nature.
Third. God long defers to bestow the blessing.
Fourth. God tests us with frowns of providence. Jacob’s disability proved a lasting affliction.
Fifth. God gives Satan liberty to tempt us.
Sixth. Sometimes God takes away former advantages.
Ninth. Oftentimes the greatest trials are the last.
Two reasons why God deals thus with those who seek His blessing:
First. Steadfastness must face opposition. God requires steadfast seeking before He bestows His blessing for the same reason He requires seeking itself: without this wise design people would give up seeking God and corruption would be unrestrained.
Second. It brings us to know ourselves.
When we must deny corruption, we find that we have the needed resolution.”
–Michael Stohlmeyer notes on Jonathan Edwards “Works of…” Vol. 19 427-432