A Pastor’s Ponderings

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Psalm 119:71

I don’t think I have ever met anyone that enjoys the problems or afflictions of life.  There isn’t any of us that has the idea, “Bring them on!  I can take them!”  We want to be rid of them as soon as possible, do we not?  But there is a verse in Psalm 119 that has always intrigued me.  It is verse 71 where the psalmist says, It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.  I have often read that verse and every time I do it searches my heart.  Can I say the same thing as the psalmist that it has been good for me to go through some of the afflictions of life that I have faced?

**The word afflictions in this verse means to be bowed down, to be humbled or brought low.  I wonder today if there is something in your life that has brought you low that you would describe as some affliction.  It could be something someone has done to you or something that you have experienced that has bowed down your spirit and brought you low in heart.  I think of the many afflictions that David experienced in his life.  Things he faced at the hands of King Saul.  Things that were completely out of his control that he had to deal with on a daily basis.  Some were even his own fault, brought on by his foolish actions.

**But he says, It was good for me.  The word good means profitable.  He is saying that there was profit in my afflictions.  The profit was that I might learn thy statutes.  Do we realize that the reason the Lord allows us to face such afflictions in our lives is for the profit of learning more about Him?  David says that his afflictions came with the benefit that he might increase in his knowledge of the word of the Lord.  There are things about the Lord that we will never truly learn apart from the experiences of life’s afflictions.  It is in the storms of life that we learn that He is our Refuge in time of need.  It is in the valleys of life that we learn that He is our Shepherd leading us through them.  It is in the trials of life that we learn He is the one who gives sufficient grace.  It is in the emptiness of life that we learn He is all that we need.

**Whenever we face some affliction of life, we need to try to remember that God is using even this to draw us closer to Him.  Trials aren’t designed to drive us away from Him, but to draw us closer to Him.  What are you facing today that is an affliction to you in your life?  Stop for a moment today to realize that the reason the Lord has allowed it to come in your life is for the purpose of drawing you closer to Him.  I’m not saying it’s always easy, but I’m saying with the Lord’s help we can view life’s afflictions differently than we ever have before.