We should be overgrown with flesh, if we had not our seasonable winters. It is said that in some countries trees will grow, but will bear no fruit, because there is no winter there. John Bunyan – Seasonable Counsel, Or, Advice to Suffers
1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Seasonable winters provide usefulness to trees that grow and bear fruit. A winter can be too harsh for some trees that are delicate, but good hardy trees flourish with a good, hard freeze. Some trees need that hard freeze in order to bear fruit. It is the same in Christian life. If we do not go through some good, hard suffering once in a while, our flesh will become thick and overgrown. We will become calloused to the things of God. We will not be moved by good preaching and the Word of God. The freeze kills off some of the less hardy branches of the tree. In the case of the Christian, it should kill off some works of the flesh.
Suffering According to the Will of God
When we suffer as Christians, we need to make sure it is according to the will of God. I would argue it is only according to the will of God if and when we submit to what the Lord is trying to accomplish in our lives. We need to let the suffering have the desired effect. You first need to TRUST God that he has a purpose if bringing suffering in your life. It can then produce well doing. If you resist and get mad, it will only produce more works of the flesh. That is exactly what usually happens with the lost. They just become more bitter under suffering. We need to come to suffering as lamb to the slaughter. We need to just trust that God wants to produce better and more abundant in our lives. Let the Lord produce the works of the Spirit in your life through suffering. He can help you to overcome the flesh. Let the Lord produce a seasonable winter.