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.
I acknowledge that You have a reason for afﬂicting me, Lord. Help me to learn my lesson.
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The Psalms supply encouragement, inspiration, correction, inner strength and vision. These short meditations on the Psalms help get your day off to a good start! From £3.99
The Psalms supply encouragement, inspiration, correction, inner strength and vision. These short meditations on the Psalms help get your day off to a good start!