It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. Psalms 119:71
Everyone goes through ‘affliction’ of some sort in life. For some it is of the severest kind where life is threatened or even taken. For some it is relationship issues, for others it may be financial hardship. I am at this moment (with many others) are heavy in heart while my wife, suffering intense pain, undergoes another angiogram to discover the problem with her heart.
Whatever our afflictions might be, the believer needs to respond to them with a heart of absolute dependence upon the Lord who is sovereign over all things, even the seemingly incidental.
But I was comforted and strengthened through the Word this morning (Monday 25th) with how the Psalmist looked back and saw what his affliction caused him to be and do. He could approach the Lord and say “It is good for me that I was afflicted…”
Is that how we view our times of affliction? I think not, as we more likely rush into a “woe is me” or a “why me” or even a “this is not fair” mode of thinking.
But the Psalmist could say his affliction was good! Why was it good to him?
The next phrase of our text makes it plain. “… that I might learn your statutes.” In other words his affliction was the mechanism God used to turn his heart and mind to the comfort and strengthening medicine of the Word of God.
Oh that we might see our trials and afflictions as being “good” gifts from God so that we might lean more of God’s ways, His mind, His grace, His mercy, His compassion, His justice, His love, His sovereign rule and reign over our lives from His Word.