Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. (v. 67)
It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. (v. 71)
I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. (v. 75)
I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word! (v. 107)Here's what I notice about these verses:
- Affliction keeps us obedient to God. When major tragedy hits a group of people, church attendance increases and prayer vigils rise up everywhere. On some level, we are all the same. Even if we are church-going, Bible-reading, prayer-walking Christians, affliction has that tendency to make us step it up a little. We become more diligent in our walk with the Lord and very conscious of our obedience in our relationship with God.
- Affliction helps us to learn more of God's ways. Do you ever notice yourself analyzing the bigger life questions when you're going through a hard time? Affliction has a funny way of drawing our hearts to God in a way that we might know Him more. Obviously, we could make the decision to become bitter and turn away from God, but his desire is for us to learn more about Him.
- Affliction reveals God's righteousness and faithfulness. Sometimes God may cause affliction, and sometimes He may simply allow it. In either scenario, God is always righteous and faithful. Isn't it good to know that when you are in God's hands, everything will be okay despite what the current circumstance looks like. God is a loving God. He always knows best, and He is always faithful to us. He will never leave us to go through any trial alone.
- Affliction gives us life. Okay, I admit that sentence seems like a paradox. It's not really the affliction that gives the life. It's God. He promises this in His Word. Even during times of terrible affliction, God can give us life! Have you ever known a Christian who is experiencing a terrible sickness, even unto death, yet they seem enthusiastic and positive about life? They have life. Life that only Jesus can give. It's a life of hope, joy, and peace.
Affliction comes in many forms. I won't even try to name all the scenarios. We will all face affliction at some point in our lives. Maybe you're in the midst of a terrible affliction right now. Sister, I hope you can find encouragement today, Maybe you, like the psalmist, can say, "It is good for me, that I was afflicted." Remember these verses and cling to them. May God bless you.
I welcome any comments you might have that will bless others.