“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.” Psalm 119:71
Its amazing how we have a tendency to despise, hate, and treat any kind of affliction or pain in life as a scourge that is of little or no value to us at all. We can look back on these times or perhaps even at them at present and consider them a waste of space, time and plain unnecessary glitches.
But is that how the Psalmist valued affliction in his life? No. He valued affliction because when weak, humbled and laid low, it turned him toward God. It was when affliction hit he was forcibly reminded of God’s revelation in His Word. In other words the Psalmist considered affliction of whatever kind, to be of God’s doing so that he might be drawn closer to Him.
Is that how we value and view trouble or affliction when it hits us? Do we take time to consider that this is God’s doing in order to draw us closer to Himself?
D.L Moody was right when he once wrote “We can stand affliction better than we can stand prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God.” (Grace Quotes)
I honestly believe the Scriptures teach that nothing happens by chance as God is in Sovereign control over all things. Our afflictions, our suffering, our troubles do not escape His sovereign plan for our lives. But do we value afflictions as God wants us to value them - as God’s tools to bring us closer to Himself, to be more like the Lord Jesus?
The great preacher Robert Murray McCheyne rightly said [Affliction] “brings out graces that cannot be seen in a time of health. It is the treading of the grapes that brings out the sweet juices of the vine; so it is affliction that draws forth submission, weanedness from the world, and complete rest in God. Use afflictions while you have them.” (Grace Quotes)