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.
Psalm 119:67, 71, 75

If ever a man had to face affliction, it was David. Yet he did not become bitter or discouraged. In fact, looking back on it, he was grateful for it. He realised it had done him good.

In his words here quoted, David shares with us two vitally important lessons he learned from his affliction. The first lesson relates to God’s motive in permitting us to come under affliction. God does not do it because He is angry with us or has rejected us. On the contrary, it is the expression of His faithfulness. He sees us taking a wrong course that will lead us to our own harm and ultimate ruin, so he sends affliction to turn us back into the way that leads to peace and blessing.

The second lesson concerns our response to affliction. David did not view affliction as a disaster. Rather, he saw it as a kind of corrective medicine. It was something he needed to adjust his life. “Before I was afflicted, I went astray,” he says, “but I suffered for it. Now I’ve learned my lesson: It pays to obey Your word.”

Are you in the midst of affliction? Do not fight back and do not argue with God. Acknowledge that God is afflicting you in His faithfulness. He has a reason. Ask Him what it is. He is seeking to turn you back from something harmful and to bring you into something beneficial. If you are willing to learn from your present affliction, there will come a time when you will look back with gratitude on the benefits you have received.

Faith’s Response

I acknowledge that You have a reason for afflicting me, Lord. Help me to learn my lesson.

This devotional is taken from

Through the Psalms
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