“It is good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Psalm 119:71
We might face afflictions and hard times in life. The afflictions in life may be different for different people, but everyone goes through it. God will teach us something through these hard times, if we are willing to obey His voice. The people of Israel didn’t learn God’s faithfulness when they were fine, but when they were struggling. They learned to trust God through that struggle. Job too understood God and His ways better in His afflictions. We can see that especially in chapter 40. God was revealing Himself to Job through the hard times. Joseph too learned to forgive his brothers and accept the situation in his life after his struggles in Egypt.
1) Psalm 119:67 says “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.” God also brings afflictions to His people, so as to teach them to obey His precepts. If we wilfully disobey God, He allows afflictions. We not only learn to trust Him through the afflictions, but also to obey His word. He humbles us and takes away our “self”, so that we totally submit and yield to His word.
2) Psalm 119:75 says, “You have afflicted me in your faithfulness.” We should understand that God afflicts us not because of our faithlessness but because of His faithfulness. God never afflicts us to make us worse, but to make us better when we submit to Him. He leads us to His plans which are always better than what we have for ourselves.
3) Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Affliction is also termed as discipline; it says that it is not pleasant at the time, but painful. But if we look at the result of Godly discipline it only produces peace and righteousness in us. It actually helps us to do the right things in our lives once we are trained by it.
Hebrews 12:6 clarifies that the Lord disciplines those He loves. How comforting it is to know when we are going through any discipline or affliction, that it is because of His love. So let us not throw away our confidence when we are afflicted, but remember His promises for us, that God is always faithful to lead us through every hard situation we face in our lives.