A Word from the Word
Learning from Affliction
Psalm 119:67, 71, 75
It’s a word about affliction and the purpose of affliction and why affliction comes in our lives and how we should respond to affliction. After all, there’s nobody who won’t encounter affliction at some time or another in his life. Listen to what the psalmist says about affliction and what he learned from it:
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. I know, O Lord, that your laws are righteous and in faithfulness you have afflicted me. NIV
You see, the psalmist didn’t view affliction as a disaster. He saw it as a kind of corrective medicine. It was something that he needed to adjust his life. He says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray and I paid for it, but now,” he said, “I obey Your word. I’ve learned my lesson. It pays to obey.”
And then he says at the end, “O Lord . . . in faithfulness you have afflicted me.” You didn’t do it because You were cruel or because You were angry with me. You did it to straighten me out, to bring me back from my own evil way into Your way, to find the way of peace.
Are you in the midst of affliction? Don’t fight. Don’t argue with God. Ask Him the reason. God is afflicting you in His faithfulness. He has a reason. He’s trying to turn you back from something, to bring you out of the wrong and bring you into the right – a life of obedience to His statutes.